Thursday, 15 August 2013

Farewell Big Beech

It’s going to be a sad day in Warley Woods on Monday 19th August.

One of the big beech trees which has been part of the woods for over 200 years and stood next to the long gone Warley Abbey is going to be felled.

Viv Cole, Warley Woods Trust Manager, explained to welovebearwood about the decision and how you can help mark the occasion for Warley Woods' history books.

"We will be saying goodbye to one of our most special trees in Warley Woods, the veteran beech which stood next to Warley Abbey. The Community Trust has tried to prolong its life over the last few years, but it has died and needs to be felled.

This particular tree has been in the landscape for well over 200 years and is included in many historic photographs. It has grown in a particular way with one extending branch arm that also gives it a particular character and makes it instantly recognisable. We have worked hard to try and extend the tree’s life with a range of treatments and even last year made a public appeal for sugar, so we could give it a syrupy feed (a technique often used for saplings, but not used before for aging trees). However, the time to say goodbye has come.

The felling will begin on 19th August and members of staff and volunteers from Warley Woods Community Trust will be nearby 10am – 4pm to answer questions and talk about the trees in Warley Woods. Our expert tree advisor, Chris Shortis, from Midland Forestry, will be there to answer any detailed queries. There will be woodworking displays showing three different ways of working with wood and there will be some children’s activities.

Of course there will also be the very amazing spectacle of a very large tree being felled by professionals. We will be asking members of the public to take photographs during the felling from one vantage point to be able to put together a “time lapse” slide show of the tree coming down.

We will also be collecting ideas about what people would like to see done with the wood from the tree and there is a funding appeal to try and bring some of these ideas to life."

Viv added that “I really hoped that this would never happen during my time at Warley Woods, but the Trust has a clear conscience that it has done all it can and the tree needs to come down to keep everyone safe. We hope some local artists will be able to take wood and carve objects from it and we hope to use a chunk to create a timeline of the area.

“We are open to other ideas and well and will be pleased to hear from artists, woodworkers or members of the public who have proposals or suggestions. Monday will be a sad day, but it will also be a chance to celebrate the wonderful tree-filled landscape we have at Warley Woods.”


  1. So sad to see this tree go...

  2. Will be a very sad day but we're sure it's the right thing to do.