Shute pupils branch out to study the trees

Shute Primary School pupils at the ancient oak tree

Shute Primary School pupils at the ancient oak tree - Credit: Archant

An ‘empty classroom day’ meant just that when Shute Primary School pupils left their desks to discover more about trees in the area.

The children went inside Lord Arundell’s Oak and trekked to see the 800-year-old King John’s Oak at the old Shute Deer Park.

Pete Youngman and Ruth Worsley from Legacy to Landscapes helped the pupils to think about what historical events the King John’s Oak had lived through.

The children also made a food web to show how many creatures and living things rely on these special trees.

Ms Worsley, the project co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to be working with Shute Primary School on this exciting project. Children were landscape detectives, looking for clues to its glorious past as a medieval deer park and were thrilled to count 18 students entering the hollow trunk of the Lord Arundell’s Oak.”

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Mr Youngman, project manager, added: “Central to the project is providing opportunities for the local community, both young and old, to discover, explore, and enjoy the rich wildlife and history on their doorstep. The visit certainly helped achieve that and we welcome more groups to get involved.”

Legacy to Landscape, a three-year Heritage Lottery-funded project, is focusing on the 1780s map of the Shute estate. This covers a large landscape of the Colyton and Shute area. Through a programme of wildlife and history activities, the project aims to reveal the rich heritage of this hidden landscape, which remained virtually unchanged for centuries. Further details or email

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