Didcot's oaks and other notable trees
Great Western Park north of Wantage Road and Didcot Road
SOUTH AND WEST The northern part of Great Western Park hosts a number of specimen trees and a considerable amount of new planting. In the south of this part of the park, Boundary Park is bordered by a number of new trees including evergreen oaks – also known as Holm Oak or Holly Oak. Further to the west, at the end of both Gary O'Donnell Drive and Ash Way is a pair of medium-age oaks. Not far away, between Felix Road and Kestrel Way, a long mature hedge features a large protected crab apple tree.
NORTHERN To the north of Boundary Park, there are relatively few single mature trees, although there has been a lot of planting of new trees of many different species, for example north of Oak Hill Lane. Mature trees form a line running south to north, bounding Great Western Park and Mendip Heights. At the south end, footpath 189/5 can be accessed from behind the garages in Freeman Road (on the Brasenose estate), which leads into footpath 189/34, This becomes a grassy track and eventually turns left, with GWP north wood on the right.
GWP NORTH WOOD As far as anyone knows, this hidden gem of a wood has no name, and it appears little known. From the east-west grassy strip that runs along its southern border, there are glimpses of a tall oak rising above the rest of the canopy. The entrances to the wood are not obvious, but the most accessible one is in the centre of this grassy path (Oxfordshire 189/34). On entering the wood, one soon meets a very large tree which has its own TPO as well as the protection of the TPO covering the whole wood. Up close, it's clear that the tree has lost a large branch, but there is only one other oak tree in Didcot with a larger girth (in Edmonds Park) making this Didcot's second largest oak. Its girth is 432 cm, which using the Woodland Trust ready reckoner, makes it 232 years old in 2020, and establishes the date it first started growing as approximately 1788. Following the track around to the right leads past another dozen large oaks. Beware steep banks which make accessing many of the trees hazardous. The path to the left goes through a younger section of the wood, with a wide variety of species and a lot more light coming through the canopy – this exits further west into GWP.
DIDA GARDENS The Dida Gardens development (David Wilson Homes) to the west of GWP north wood is currently under construction. There is already vehicle access from the A4130 via Dudcote Fields, and some pedestrian access from GWP, but not all footpaths 189/43, 189/5 and 189/35 are open. Details will be added when the site is accessible and construction fences removed.
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Public access Private / inaccessible
North of the Wantage Road and Didcot Road
North of Boundary Park
Bordering but not accessible from the A4130
Access from GWP partially open for pedestrians
To be updated and completed after building work has finished and construction fencing removed.