2017 marked the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest [‘Carta de Foresta’]. The Charter re-established rights of free people to enter and graze their animals on common land which King John had been appropriating for his own use and turning into Royal Forests.
Lincoln Castle holds a copy of the Magna Carta and one of only two known copies of the Charter of the Forest [for information please see https://www.lincstothepast.com/exhibitions/treasures/magna-carta-/-charter-of-the-forest/].
To celebrate this historic anniversary, Lincoln Cathedral and Nettleham Woodland Trust [NWT] collaborated to provide more oak trees for the future restoration of the Cathedral roof.
At the Lincolnshire Show in June 2017, around 130 oak saplings were sold to members of the public, each costing £12.17p (1217, the year of the Charter). The saplings were donated by British Hardwood Trees in Snitterby.
In November 2017 the oaks were planted in a special area in Monks Wood, Ashing Lane Nature Reserve, which has been named Cathedral Copse. The trees were blessed by the Dean of Lincoln, The Very Revd Christine Wilson.
These oaks are now added to the 100 oak trees pledged by NWT to Lincoln Cathedral in 2015 and recorded in the ‘Book of Oaks’ in Lincoln Cathedral.
In January 2018, the former Bishop of Liverpool, The Right Revd James Jones, visited Monks Wood with Claire McCollum from the BBC’s Songs of Praise to film the planting of two more oak saplings for use in the Cathedral roof in 100+ years.
The Right Revd James Jones commented that NWT’s collaboration with Lincoln Cathedral is a model which other cathedrals and local woodland groups could emulate.