Type of tree:
The village of Boxgrove in West Sussex lies on the edge of the South Downs National Park, some four miles to the north east of Chichester.
The village is proud of its long history and heritage. Indeed, archaeological excavations at a nearby gravel quarry during the 1980s and 1990s revealed evidence of some of the earliest human occupation of the British Isles. The site dates back approximately 500,000 years, and became internationally famous with the discovery of the human remains of Boxgrove Man (still considered to be Britain’s oldest inhabitant).
More recently, in the early 12th century, a Benedictine priory and monastic community was established at Boxgrove. This flourished and became one of the largest and most significant ecclesiastic establishments in Southern England, until its sudden demise in the 1530s when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.
Thankfully, Boxgrove’s current relationship with the monarchy is rather more cordial, and the village was very proud to be granted a tree with which to celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
The planting of the tree also marked a fitting culmination to 2012, a year in which a large number of different activities and celebrations took place, both within the village and across the local community generally.
In keeping with tradition, an English oak (Quercus robur) was chosen. It was planted on 12th December 2012 by District Councillor Henry Potter, assisted by local Tree Warden and Parish Councillor Tony Tynan.
The site selected was on land to the back of Boxgrove Primary School, close to a local playing field and recreation area, so that the schoolchildren as well as local people generally can benefit from the tree, both now and in years to come. It will also provide a focal point for future school and community events.
The school composed the following poem to commemorate the Jubilee Diamond Tree planting.
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