Round Table Newsletter - October 2023

3rd October, 2023

White Action Oak logo

October 2023

Action Oak Round Table Newsletter


Dear Valued Partner,

As we transition into the new season, we're reflecting on Action Oak's last few months.  

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Events Recap
  • Annual Report
  • Tree Alert

Read on to find out more.



Team update

Spring saw Annabel Narayanan appointed as Programme Director of Action Oak and September saw Communications Assistant Georgina Colman step up to Communications Officer.
Annabel Narayanan
I am delighted to have been appointed as the first Director of Action Oak. I am grateful for the opportunity to work together to sculpt our future strategy. Growing up on a farm in Somerset, I spent my whole childhood climbing trees, lambing sheep and getting dusty at harvest time (when it wasn't raining!). I am passionate about nature and committed to ensuring the future of our natural world. Working with Action Oak, and its partners, is a natural extension of my philosophy.
I have experience in both corporate and charitable sectors, including serving as the Associate Director of Events for RGB Kew’s Foundation during their Breathing Planet Campaign to raise £250m, I am excited to bring these experiences to the Action Oak Initiative and look forward to continuing the important work towards protecting the UK’s native Oak trees for future generations.
Whilst my expertise isn’t defined as Arborist, Forester or Scientist, I look forward to learning through collaborating with Action Oak’s knowledgeable community in our mission to safeguard oak trees.


You may have noticed that we have recently restarted our Instagram.
You can keep up with our activities at @action_oak
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Upcoming Events 

ARBOR: A Month of Trees

Action Oak is attending the Dorset-based¬†Sculpture by the Lakes¬†hosted ‚ÄėARBOR: A Month of Trees‚Äô event on the 27th of October 2023.¬†
The month-long exhibition runs from the 27th of September to the 28th of October and brings world-renowned nature experts and artists to Sculpture by the Lakes in a month-long exhibition featuring a specially curated selection of sculptures and artwork inspired by crucial woodland species to celebrate trees.

The brimming event schedule includes expert talks from former BBC presenter and Dorset Wildlife Trust President, Dr George McGavin, and ex-Head of Arboretum at Kew Gardens and current Chair of Action Oak's Knowledge into Action Committee, Tony Kirkham MBE. A series of exclusive live art demonstrations and workshops will be hosted by recognised names including Channel 5 Watercolour Series expert judge and Sky Arts Landscape Artist of The Year semi-finalist, Lisa Takahashi.

If you’re planning on visiting this unique sculpture park and art venue for ARBOR: A Month of Trees | Sculpture by the Lakes on the 27th of October, we’d love to see you so, don’t hesitate to find us for a chat amongst enjoying all the event has to offer.

Tree with bright green leaves in a grassy landscape. The sky is blue with a few white clouds.
Image by Simon Gudgeon, of Sculpture by the Lakes.

Events Recap

It's been rewarding to see so many familiar faces whilst out on the road for Action Oak this year. With just a couple more left in our 2023 Calendar, we're looking ahead to 2024. If you have any upcoming events that would benefit from an Action Oak presence, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Woodland Heritage's Field Day 2023

It was fantastic to visit Cowdray Park for this year's Woodland Heritage Field Day, hosted by Nina Williams who has led the estate's forestry team since 2020. We were fortunate to see The Queen Elizabeth Oak, named after Queen Elizabeth I who sat under its branches during a hunting trip in August 1591. The tree is thought to be approximately 1000 years old and has a girth of 12.6 metres. It was an incredible sight made more magical by the butterflies flitting around the branches. 
The Queen Elizabeth Oak at Cowdray Park is in the centre of frame, it is a sunny day and the tree casts shadows. Below the tree on the right side of frame Woodland Heritage Field Day attendees look on.
Image by Georgina Colman for Woodland Heritage

Future Trees Trust Annual Supporters' Day 2023

Action Oak attended the Annual Supporters' Day 2023 at Maelor Forest Nurseries. It was fantastic to hear the excellent guest speakers from DEFRA, Maelor Forest Nurseries, Tilhill, the University of Liverpool and the Future Trees Trust.
The UK's largest miniplug facility for commercial trees.
Future Trees Trust | Maelor Forest Nurseries
Image by Georgina Colman for Action Oak
Petri dish
Equipment used for processing growing media
Images by Georgina Colman for Action Oak

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023

For those of you who've caught us at the shows this year, there's no doubt that these postcards may be familiar to you but for those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure, Action Oak was fortunate to collaborate with the artist Paul West on a limited series of informative postcards for Action Oak at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. 
Mock up presentation of Action Oak postcards by Paul West
Paul West Art

Amity Seat | Gaze Burvill

The first Amity Seat was presented to King Charles III at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 to commemorate his Coronation, the seat created by Gaze Burvill sees £100 from each of the first 100 seats sold, donated to Action Oak to support the work of the Initiative.

"As someone who studied forestry as well as furniture making, the Action Oak initiative is something that is very important to me and I was delighted that we have been able to support it through our first design to be entirely made out of oak grown in Britain. Forestry in Britain is facing enormous challenges at the moment through the propagation of diseases and the work that Action Oak is carrying out is essential in protecting our native oak trees' future. By using British oak from managed woodlands we are putting back into this circular economy and encouraging the nurturing of more oak growing in the future."
- Simon Burvill

To ensure Amity has a minimal carbon footprint, Gaze Burvill uses only British-grown and milled Oak to craft the seat in their Hampshire workshops. The Amity Seat has also been awarded a Furniture Design Guild Mark. Judged by an independent panel of design experts, Amity successfully demonstrated excellence in design, materials, manufacture and function. 
Some notable places where you'll be able to find an Amity seat are The Planted Cabin at River Cottage HQ, National Trust Stourhead, RHS Harlow Carr, and the Gardens at Highgrove.

Amity Bench in a garden scene. Carved dedication to King Charles III on top set is seen above the carving of the Action Oak logo on the slat below.
Amity Bench in a garden scene. Carved dedication to King Charles III on top set is seen above the carving of the Action Oak logo on the slat below.
Image courtesy of Gaze Burvill

Partner Event 2023

Hosted by BIFoR at the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Campus, Action Oak's Annual Partner event returned for 2023. The day featured research updates, networking and the Urban Tree Tour. These in-person opportunities to meet are invaluable and it was fantastic to reconnect with faces known to us and those brand new! We'd like to express our thanks to the BIFoR team for hosting & to Bartletts for sponsoring the event.
A University of Birmingham Banner reads 'Game Changing Research'
Geraint Richards, Chair of Action Oak is pictured holding the Action Oak Annual Report at the Action Oak Partners Day in Birmingham. Attendees are seen in the background.
Images by Georgina Colman for Action Oak

Action Oak Report

Launched on the International Day Of Plant Health 2023, we're pleased to update you on the positive reception of the Annual Action Oak Report 2022-23. Click the button below to read the latest collection of updates from our community of researchers. 
Action Oak Annual Report 2022-23 front cover
Annual Report

Tree Alert

Report suspected tree pests and diseases found anywhere in the UK here.

An Acute Oak Decline affected Oak tree displays stem bleeds along its trunk.
Tree Alert (
Image by Georgina Colman for Action Oak
Thank you for your ongoing support.
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