The Peace Oak Association owns and looks after a 2 acre field off Cassington Road with its entrance through Cobbetts Close. It is a beautiful site with mature trees, an orchard ofapples and fruit, wildflower meadows, a pond, a small vineyard, willow creations and more.
The name Peace Oak refers to a remarkable Oak Tree planted in November 1919 one year after the armistice that ended the First World War.
We now have over 100 members who pay an annual subscription of £8 for one person or £10 for a family. Members contribute in many ways to looking after and developing the site and our vision –but also come and go as they please, often to meet friends, have a picnic or just to sit and enjoy the quiet space. Some members also have small plots for growing vegetables.
Growing, propagating and caring for fruit and vegetables
We have an orchard of apple trees, many of them the old Eynsham varieties and we continue to graft to protect this local heritage. We aim to expand our “fruitful hedge” planting more soft fruit, and damsons, plums etc. The area in the centre is cultivated by about 15 plotholders and is full of wonderful vegetable and fruit.
We have regular field days when we gather to tackle regular tasks such as clearing grass mowings, weeding round the pond or the young apple trees, sowing wildflowers There are plenty of tasks which don’t involve heavy work – including bringing down coffee and cake, counting slow worms, lighting the bonfire, providing the crumpets and helping at events.
Promoting biodiversity – protecting and creating habitats for a wildflowers, animals and insects
We are very lucky in Eynsham to have the Nature Recovery Network as key partners in pursuing this vision. Together we have made bird boxes, sown wildflower meadows, and surveyed the reptiles. In 2020 we have created the pond now full of pond life and surrounded with a wonderful woven willow hedge.
The field is a haven for birds, insects, and mammals. Protecting this influences how we tend and look after the field – eg mowing only where necessary, leaving woodland areas undisturbed and encouraging particular plants which attract insects.
Learning and having fun
We are learning from each other all the time and at the centre of this is the Craft Club – which meets one evening a week in the summer for green woodworking, willow weaving, forays into printing from leaves, making lanterns and being creative with natural materials.
We love meeting round the fire, with food and music, and we will have four events each year – starting in January with the Wassailing – a pagan festival which encourages the good spirits with mulled cider and music. Other highlights are the funghi foray and pond dipping.
If you want to check us out – ignore the sign saying members only.. and when you have done your recce contact us via the link below or fill in the application form and follow its instructions.