Local MP, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, on 28th February planted a ceremonial oak tree at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) as part of its 175th anniversary celebrations.

Sir Geoffrey is a distinguished alumnus, farmer and an ongoing supporter of the University. He said “I am honoured to have planted this symbolic oak tree as part of the RAU’s 175th anniversary celebrations. My hope is that 175 years from now this oak tree, along with the RAU and Britain’s farming and food industries, will still be standing strong and global leaders.”

The oak tree, one of many gifted to MPs by Extinction Rebellion, has been planted on the Bledisloe Lawn. Alongside previous trees Sir Geoffrey donated as part of the 2018 Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project.

Professor Joanna Price is Vice-Chancellor at the University. She commented “this oak tree is representative of the commitment the RAU has to sustaining the land. As well as the future generations who will depend upon it. Oak trees are symbolic of resilience and longevity and the RAU is immensely proud of its heritage. As we face another agricultural revolution there never has been a more important time for the institution. Due to being the oldest Agricultural University in the English speaking world it is our responsibility to help industry navigate change. As well as to build resilience in the face of great challenges such as Brexit, Climate Change and Food Security”.

What is happening next?

A number of events are to be held throughout the year to celebrate the University’s 175th anniversary. As well as to promote the important role that it continues to play in supporting the land based sector. These events include a series of keynote lectures and debates on the future of farming, food production, and land management. In addition to an open day for the local community in May and an international birthday party in September. In order to recognise the global reach of the institution and its alumni network.

For more information on the RAU visit their website here and further information on the MP’s visit and the 175th celebration events can be found here.