A popular tree sculpture was felled on Saturday morning (September 9) due to concerns that the trunk had become dangerous.

But although the Storybook Tree in Bury Knowle Park in Headington was taken down over the weekend, it has been confirmed that the sculpture will be reinstated on a new base.

It comes after 19-year-old man Alexander Kippax was killed by a falling tree in a park in Oxford last month. 

The Storybook Tree was sculpted in 2005 from the trunk of a dead cedar tree.

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It was the idea of Boward Tree Surgery in Long Hanborough, which did not want to fully remove the tree.

It features characters from the books of the Headington authors J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.

These include the dragon, Smaug from The Hobbit and Aslan the lion from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Back in 2012 concerns were raised that the Storybook Tree was decaying.


Rosemary Belton, of the Friends of Bury Knowle Park, said at the time: “I think a lot of people recognise the park by the Storybook Tree now.

“It is central to the theme of the park because there are sculpted benches around it.

“I think it is as popular with adults as it is with children.

“We very much hope that it will remain in place for as long as possible.”

She suggested back in 2012 that Oxford City Council could separate the two parts and give the tree a new base.

In 2007 the tree was given an environmental award by Oxford Preservation Trust.

The tree was initially commissioned by Headington Action and youngsters gather around it for stories in summertime.