SCHOOLCHILDREN from across Oxfordshire celebrated the life of a majestic tree at Blenheim Palace yesterday.

The children, representing five primary schools, were taught about the importance of forest management.

Last January the children visited the Woodstock estate to collect fallen acorns from a 222-year-old oak, before it was felled to produce furniture.

One year on, the children returned to the site to help unveil a sculpture made from one of the tree’s vast branches and carved with facts about its life.

The children also planted the first batch of 250 oak saplings from the collected acorns and sang songs.

Gabriel Hemery, chief executive of organisers The Sylva Foundation, said: “In modern society we surround ourselves with wood, but people find it quite hard when they see a tree being felled.

“We are trying to get people to recognise that we need to get our trees from woodland, and that tree-felling need not be so negative.”

He said the charity aimed to get woodland owners to produce more timber, adding that wood was the UK’s sixth biggest import.

Children from Wood Farm Primary School in Oxford joined pupils from primary schools in Bladon, Woodstock and Stonesfield, and Willowcroft Community School, Didcot, for the event.