Pupils from a Lancashire Secondary School rallied round to raise funds for the ancient Birnam Oak. The tree is the last surviving remnant of Birnam Wood, made famous in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Ormskirk School students were studying the play for their GCSE when they learnt about appeal and were inspired to support it.

A fun ‘Green Day’ was held, organised by the Year 10 pupils, where people bought green ribbons or paid to wear green clothes to school and there was a bake sale and a Karaoke competition. The students were successful in raising £250 which will go towards the monitoring and maintenance of this historic tree.

The tree receives an annual health check from a tree specialist who has also carried out sensitive pruning of the tree’s crown to reduce the weight on the trunk to prevent it from splitting.  More pruning of the crown will be needed in the future and the props holding up the oak’s huge lower branches will need to be replaced in the next few years.

The Birnam Oak and its even bigger neighbour the Birnam Sycamore are a part of Perthshire Big Tree Country, a partnership managed by Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust including Forestry Commission Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, VisitScotland and the Woodland Trust.

Photo: The Ormiskirk School Green Day organisers