A CHERRY tree in an Oxford park sprouted some unusual extra leaves at the weekend.

The colourful paper leaves now dangle from the branches of what is being called the Tree of Hope, in Bury Knowle Park, Headington.

It contains messages written by local people about what they are most looking forward to when lockdown measures ease.

One of the messages says: “I hope to hug you soon.”

The tree can be found close to the London Road entrance to the park, near the public toilets.

Oxford Mail:

A banner wrapped around the trunk, which is adorned with flowers, birds and leaves, says: ‘With hope and respect for nature, let’s build a better world’.

One local householder Marion Couldrey, said: “We are all finding this time difficult and there is so much sadness, but people are finding positive things too.

Oxford Mail:

“We’re benefitting from less traffic and cleaner air. The streets are safer for pedestrians and cyclists. People are looking out for each other, caring for neighbours and being kind.”

Another resident, whose family made leaf messages, said: “Creative acts are bringing smiles to people’s faces.

Oxford Mail:

“Everybody stops and smiles when they see the lovely snake of painted stones in Bury Knowle Park and the paper boats strung on ribbons in North Oxford. We hope this tree will do the same.”

The leaves will on the tree until May 31, until then residents can add their own messages but have been told to respect social distancing measures.