Red Oak, Burnham Park

Nominated by: Viv Nicholas
Illustration by Pamela Taylor, Burnham resident and botanical illustrator

This Red Oak, growing in Burnham Park is designated as a “Champion Tree” of South Bucks in a book titled ‘Champion Trees of Britain and Ireland’, written by Owen Johnson and published in 2002.  It is measured at 24 metres high and 160 cm in diameter.  The Red Oak was introduced from North America and has more pointed leaves than the English Oak.

The Red Oak is one of 27 trees that feature in a unique Tree Trail, created by The Burnham Foundation, that invites both young and old to walk around the perimeter of Burnham Park and learn more about trees and their contribution to Humankind.  We would never have evolved on Earth without there being trees to provide food and shelter.  Furthermore, the tree is embedded in our consciousness – The Tree of Life, The Tree of Knowledge, A Family Tree and perhaps also The Christmas Tree!

Burnham Park is both the heart and lungs of Burnham Village, located at the bottom of its High Street and is home to both its library and community hall.  St Peter’s Church is located nearby and is mentioned in the Domesday Book and Burnham is located close to the River Thames and A4 and has benefitted from the flow to and from London, and to the West Country and Wales.

In the last century Burnham has been associated with the growth of Slough Trading Estate (now titled SEGRO) which was established in 1920.   Its first enterprise was to bring back from France, after the end of World War One, military vehicles for repair, refurbishment and re-sale.  The depression in the late 1920’s, which included the General Strike in 1926 and the Wall Street Crash in 1929, resulted in an in-flow of Welsh people in the 1930’s.  Before the start of World War Two – there were 250, mainly manufacturing companies including Mars Confectionery, operating on the Trading Estate.  More recently, SEGRO has attracted modern industries such as electronic data storage facilities and its dynamism has contributed significantly to the economy and quality of life in Burnham and its neighbour Slough.

To find out more about the Burnham Park Tree Trail and the Burnham Foundation – please visit their website, or go directly to the Tree Trail.

The Red Oak in Burnham Park was nominated by Viv Nicholas, Chairman of The Burnham Foundation.