Didcot's oaks and other notable trees
Park Road, Edmonds Park, Norreys Road, West Hagbourne footpath, Wantage Road
WEST HAGBOURNE FOOTPATH This area, mostly in Didcot's Park Ward, includes some notable oaks lining the footpath (Oxfordshire 189/18) to West Hagbourne which runs south-west from Wantage Road near the Wheatsheaf pub, crossing Drake Avenue. It continues behind the back gardens of Norreys Road and Collingwood Avenue until it joins Stubbings Land – the recreational field with Barleyfields to the north, and Bluebell Lane in Great Western Park to the west. On some plans this is marked as Two Fields. Visible in the distance (over a footbridge) is a large oak recorded on the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Inventory (see GWP south). A similar sized oak (photo 10) is near the footpath, half its trunk in Stubbings Land and half in back gardens. The footpath continues on its straight line south-west, and just after crossing Portway, there is another large forked oak (13). The footpath finally meets Bluebell Lane near a small copse containing eight oaks, and continues (as footpath 197/1) its almost straight-line journey to West Hagbourne. Alternatively, Bluebell Lane offers other destinations in the southern part of Great Western Park.
EDMONDS PARK The other most significant trees in this area are the oaks that line the perimeter of Edmonds Park, between Park Road to the west and Newlands Avenue (near Didcot Wave Leisure Pool) to the east. Here can be found several very large oaks (and some sawn-off remains), including in the centre of the northern perimeter, Didcot's largest tree, which is also recorded on the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Inventory. This tree, when measured in 2020 had a girth (at 1.5 metre height) of 541 cm, which according to the Woodland Trust's conversion chart is 340 years old, meaning that it started to grow in circa 1680 – certainly predating the Acts of Union which joined England and Wales to Scotland, forming the Kingdom of Great Britain. Note the posted times when the gates to Edmonds Park are locked.
WANTAGE ROAD Starting with a large prominent oak at the Wantage Road / Broadway roundabout with Foxhall Road and Park Road, the south side of Wantage Road in the direction of Harwell is lined with a number of large oak and lime trees.
OTHER NOTABLE TREES IN THIS AREA There are a number of copper beeches, limes, Scots pine and (until late 2020) a large sweet chestnut a short walking distance from Edmonds Park. These trees can be found in Park Road, Queensway, Garden Close, Park Close and Norreys Road.
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Public access Private / inaccessible
Southbound from Wantage Road
From the small copse containing eight oaks, instead of continuing to West Hagbourne, an alternative walk can be explored northwest along Bluebell Lane into the south of Great Western Park.
Clockwise from NW gate
Westbound from roundabout