Clerk: Mrs Joanna Noles
26 Church Street, Church
Piece, Charlton Kings
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
GL53 8AR

Tree Charter Day - Saturday, 28th November 2020

The Parish Council is one of many councils that have signed up to support the Woodland Trust's Tree Charter, which was launched on 6th November 2017 on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. The Charter re-established for free men, their rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs.

This is an important year, as we formally launched Charlton Kings Parish Council's new Tree Strategy on Tree Charter Day. The strategy has been written for 'those who come after', as by planting a tree today, we are contributing to a better future mostly for succeeding generations. Tree planting is a crucial element of our CK Futures environment strategy.

Our events arranged to celebrate Tree Charter Day 2020 have been :

  • Launching our Tree Strategy – a personal copy was sent to Cheltenham's MP, and all our County, Borough and Parish Councillors.
  • As part of our long-standing programme working with Cheltenham Borough Council to diversify the trees stock in our public greenspaces, we have planted two specimen trees on Grange Field – a beautiful, frost-hardy Persian Silk Tree, and a weeping, white Mulberry
  • On Saturday 5th December 2020, volunteers will plant a new landscaped Hornbeam hedge on the western edge of Grange Field
  • Gloucestershire County Council's Rights of Way Officer has walked the circular public footpaths on Welling Hill, up to Charlton Kings' oldest tree, the Great Oak on Welling Hill, to inspect the waymarking signs and has made improvements that will make visitors' experience less uncertain and allow them to stick to the correct routes.
  • A very small part of the Woodland Trust's prime Ancient Woodland Nature Reserve lies in the parish and is a place that we suggest would make a wonderful visit on a fine winter's day.
  • The public consultation event on Newcourt Green on 14th November 2020 has had to be postponed until January. Using funding from the government's Urban Tree Challenge fund, the Borough Council is proposing to establish two small new copses of native broadleaved trees.

Tree Strategy

Charlton Kings Parish Council agreed its new Tree Strategy at the Full Council meeting on 26th October 2020. The document defines our future strategy in relation to tree planting and woodland creation.

  • 15c - Tree Strategy (PDF, 265 Kb)

    15c - Tree Strategy for Charlton Kings as agreed at Full Council meeting on 26th October 2020 (Minute 128/20/21)

The Woodland Trust's Lineover Wood reserve - a fantastic place to visit to celebrate Tree Charter Day

The Tree Charter was developed by the Woodland Trust, so it is fitting that we should celebrate Tree Charter day in Charlton Kings by promoting a visit to their Lineover Wood reserve; one of the 'jewels in the crown' of the Woodland Trust's reserves https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/woods/lineover-wood/

Lineover wood was first recorded around AD 800 as part of the Dowdeswell estate and most of it is designated as Ancient Woodland and SSSI. Lineover means Lime Bank in Anglo Saxon and there are many huge specimens of large-leaved lime trees, mostly preserved to great age by centuries of coppicing

Within its 50ha (123 acres) there are two good, circular walks from the car park off the A40 by Dowdeswell Reservoir and you can pick up a leaflet from the parish office which has an excellent site map with paths clearly shown. A word of caution: the paths are very muddy and slippery after wet weather and the ascent is quite steep, so good boots and a stout stick are advisable; or you may prefer to wait for a sunny day in June when the ancient woodland flora is at its best.

There are also opportunities to volunteer on working parties that carry out necessary works such as coppicing, path maintenance, scrub clearance and planting of native trees in cleared conifer areas. If you are interested, please contact volunteering@woodlandtrust.org.uk or the volunteer development officer for the South-West on 01476 855480.

The Great Oak on Welling Hill - a self-guided walk

A 4km (2.5mile) walk up Welling Hill to Colgate Farm and home again in a loop. Take an OS map preferably at 1: 25,000 scale or more. The paths are very boggy in places.

  • Start from A40 pathway 100m east of the Charlton Kings Hotel.
  • Follow the track down to Welling House for 100m, at the start of Footpath ZCK 18.
  • Turn right over stile and follow line of the River Chelt for 50m before crossing the river and carrying on along the north bank for a further 100m.
  • Strike up the slope for about 150m to the point where footpath ZCK 17 breaks off east, but continue straight ahead up the hill.
  • Continue for 150m to the foot of a stone track. The footpath has been diverted up this track rather than across the field to the right.
  • After 100m turn right through metal gates and follow track for 50m to the corner of a wood. There are great views right across Charlton Kings to Ravensgate Common.
  • The Welling Hill Oak is right on the corner of this wood. Our picture shows this massive 400-year-old English oak which has a girth of over 20 ft (6metres) and may have been the "great oak on One-Tree Hill" mentioned in Dinah Craik's novel John Halifax, Gentleman, written at nearby Detmore House in 1856.
  • Follow the grassy track for 500m up hill, with a final section on a raised embankment in an Ash plantation, to join footpath ZCK 20.
  • Follow new path below a high, brambly hedge for 150m to junction with footpath ZCK15 west of Colgate Farm. Set off downhill for 350m, with fenceline to your left, through a kissing gate and through next field to join footpath ZCK 16.
  • Follow line of path for 650m before turning left onto footpath ZCK 17. Note some very old Oak pollards in hedges and as open-field trees.
  • Follow ZCK 17 for 500m to re-join path above R. Chelt and follow path downhill, back along the river and after 400m, back to the A40.