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The Oak of Fulham – an original poem

Poppy, age 10, shares her original poem about the Palace’s oldest tree.

As part of her schoolwork, 10-year-old Poppy was tasked with writing on the theme of ‘the environment. Poppy instantly thought of the Palace’s oldest tree – the holm oak! Inspired by what the holm oak might have seen throughout its life, Poppy shares her original poem.

The Oak of Fulham

Through Bishops Park, through Bishops Park
Come hear me loud through Bishops Park
My twisting branches that bend and snap
My ancient holm oak roots fill every gap
At Fulham Palace, I’ve seen it all
From Grindal’s day-a steadfast feature by the Tudor wall

Once a rural spot with dancing roses climbing up the walls and a pleasant fragrance in the air
But suddenly all that changed, and I thought ‘What’s there?’
Factories began popping up letting smoke conquer the sky
The grey gases took charge, and I wondered when could we say bye-bye
But humans had other ideas, and they screamed, ‘BURN MORE COAL!’
And I thought, ‘Everyone who breathes it in sill surely lose their soul’

Another horror turned up: the car
People began to drive around like movie stars
And out of the blue, the atmosphere was filled with smog
This caused problems with breathing and it looked a lot like fog
Let’s not forget the Great Smog in December of 1952
Sadly, a drab, leafless London was left with air like goo

Nowadays, I sit nestled right under Heathrow’s flight path
Every three minutes, the rumbling makes me question ‘Are they having a laugh?’
But I am a natural air filter, me and my friends can clean it up
With our leaves we trap particles from air pollution and seal them in a cup
Because there are lots of flights coming we thought we would help out
So please, plant trees, give us the benefit of the doubt

Through Bishops Park, Through Bishops Park
Come hear me loud through Bishops Park
I need some help, I can’t fix it all alone
Don’t cut us down, you’ll be on your own
We want a blissful, verdant future like you
So treat us well and together we’ll pull through.

Fulham Palace’s holm oak is thought to be over 500 years old and has seen much its in lifetime.

For over 1,000 years the Palace has been and continues to be a green oasis in West London. Thanks to the work of our dedicated team and volunteers, the legacy of the Bishops lives on throughout the garden. We are committed to reducing our own environmental and pollution footprint, increasing biodiversity and inspiring others to do the same. We understand the Palace is not yet as green as it can be and that we must do more.