A GIANT oak sculpture has been unveiled to celebrate a 'momentous year' for trees.

The artwork, one of 11 constructed across the UK, has taken pride of place at the Sylva Wood Centre near Long Wittenham to mark the creation of a new charter for trees, woods and people.

To be known as ‘Charter Poles’, the 15ft sculptures were designed at the centre by resident craftsman Simon Clements.

Schoolchildren from Long Wittenham CofE primary School and Willowcroft Community School in Didcot wer joined Beccy Speight, the Woodland Trust CEO, to unveil it last Saturday.

Other sculptures were revealed at the same time at locations including Alder Hey Hospital in Manchester and Lincoln Castle.

CEO of the Sylva Foundation, Gabriel Hemery, said he thought the sculptures were 'stunning'.

He added: “It’s been wonderful to watch sculptor Simon Clements at work over many months here at the Sylva Wood Centre."

The charter for trees, woods and people was created to put trees at the centre of national decision making and to combat the many threats from pests and land-use change.

It was launched on November 6 to coincide with the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest.

The Sylva Foundation helped gather stories from hundreds of woodland owners across the country to assist with research for the charter.

Words from a poem written by Harriet Fraser are carved in a wooden ribbon which wraps around the sculpture, made from the giant stem of an oak tree donated by the Crown Estates.

Ms Speight said: “Following involvement from more than 70 organisations, more than 100,000 members of the public and at least 300 community groups the charter’s 10 guiding principles redefine the relationship people in the UK have with trees and woods.

"The charter’s ambition was and is to place trees and woods at the centre of national decision making, and back at the heart of our lives and communities."