Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

The Cockfield Contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy

Walnut Tree

The Parish Council have honoured the initiative promoted by HM Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her accession to the throne 70 years ago by planting a Walnut Tree at Earls Meadow. You may be interested to know the source of the tree and the significance of the site.

Earls Meadow was created for the village as a recreational area for dog walking and general relaxation taking into account the natural beauty and the unspoilt Suffolk countryside.

The Walnut Tree originated from a stock within the village-propagated by wildlife and grown on to be planted out.

Going back over 20 years I was asked to be the Village Tree Warden which has been an eventful experience one way or another being responsible for many plantings and tree surgery as needed ….this Walnut Tree represents the following journey.

June Forrest joined the Parish Council at the same time as Paul Brinkley and myself in the late 90’s. June was a real character and lived at Smallbridge House on the Bradfield St Clare road and offered me a young Walnut Tree from her garden to celebrate my appointment as Tree Warden- a kind if slightly tongue in cheek gesture.

We planted the said young Walnut Tree in our garden and June was given frequent  progress reports on its growth. Surprisingly it has made excellent growth over the years and is now as tall as our barn and has offered walnuts a plenty for at least 10 years. Not surprisingly the squirrels discovered the tree and we harvest very few walnuts but have plenty of young walnut saplings growing in the garden and flower pots courtesy of the squirrels.

The Walnut Sapling taken to Earls Meadow is from this stock which I have grown on for the last couple of years during Lockdowns and it was agreed by the Parish Council that the time is right for this young tree to greet the world! All contents were emptied from the planter the sapling had grown in including the daffodils and tulips.

After planting the Walnut Tree the Parish Council purchased a plaque from the Royal British Legion to commemorate the Queens Green Canopy.

Next time you visit Earls Meadow -which is fantastic this time of year- give the Walnut Tree a look it is halfway along Earls Meadow near the river.

You could call it the Cockfield Walnut! Hopefully in a few years it will stand tall and proud and you can tell your grandchildren the story of the origin of the Walnut Tree.


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