Tree Trail: Introduction

In February and March 2021, our Year Eight Rumble Museum Council students worked hard to identify, map and photograph all of Cheney's beautiful trees. They themed each section, and chose five trees in each section to be part of their trail. We also invited a range of Cheney staff, with a sprinkling of celebrity names. to create little recordings of the imagined voices of the trees! 

You can explore the trees and their voices in each of the sections below. On Saturday 17th June, 2023, we are unveiling a set of wooden signs, with Latin names, leaf rubbings and wording created by our Year Nine Museum Council, and inspired by artwork and stories by Barton Park, St Andrew's and Wood Farm Primary School. The signs are generously funded by the Art Fund as part of their national Wild Escape Project.

Photos to follow soon!

Tree Trail: Section 1

Section One: Riddles

Pine Tree 

I celebrate in the Big Apple each year. Which tree am I?

 Horse Chestnut

I've been watched from an attic in the darkest of times. Which tree am I?

Dead Tree

I am resting - leave me be!


An honourable thief has stood by my side, and long before that, many Romans would ride. Who am I?

Hear author Monica Ali as the voice of our Sycamore Tree below:


We were planted with grace to welcome and watch. We're over 200 years old and live over a sea. We stand as friends and form two lines. Who are we?

Tree Trail: Section 2

Section 2: Butterflies

Yew Tree

Yew needles are highly toxic to humans and mammals,
but are eaten by the satin beauty moth.

Hear Stephen Fry as the voice of our Yew Tree here:


Pine Tree

The pine moth's larvae are left to hibernate and then
continue to grow on the pine tree.

Oak Tree

The purple hair-streaked butterfly's caterpillars feed
on the flowers and buds of the oak tree.

Horse Chestnut Tree

The caterpillar of the triangle moth and the leaf
miner moth feed on the horse chestnut's leaves.

Ash Tree

The compost which builds up underneath this tree
encourages the growth of flowers, which in turn attract
butterflies, in particular the brown fritillary.

Tree Trail: Section 3

Section 3: Fun Facts

Redwood Tree

These trees are the giants of the forest! One of the reasons redwoods live so long is due to a substance in their barks called tannin.

Redwood Tree

Redwoods have adapted to be fire resistant. In their natural habitat, forest fires are common. These small frequent fires are called "cool" fires.

Cherry Tree

In the spring it adds beauty to many a park and street as its lovely blossom emerges. Henry VIII introduced one type of cherry tree to this country.

Listen to Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, introduce the voice of our cherry tree below:

Beech Tree

Tree Trail: Section 4

Section 4: Greek Myths

Hawthorn Tree

Hear broadcaster, journalist and author Jeremy Paxman as the voice of a Hawthorn below:


Beech Tree

Helen of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world, carved the names of all her suitors into the bark of a beech tree.

Crabapple Tree

The nymphs of the evening (Hesperides) guarded a golden apple tree. The apples gave whoever ate them immortality. A dragon called Ladon also guarded the tree.

Oak Tree

Byblis was a princess who fell in love with her brother. She was cast out in shame, but nymphs took pity on her and turned her into an oak tree.

Here Roman Mysteries author Caroline Lawrence as the voice of our Oak Tree below:

Scott's Pine Tree

Pitys was a nymph in charge of tending to pine trees. The North Wind fell in love with her and grew jealous, and threw her into a rocky ledge. She was turned into a pine.

Plane Tree

The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates is said to have taught medicine under a plane tree. The Roman writer Pliny notes lots of uses of its bark in medicine.

Tree Trail: Section 5

Section 5: Winter

Twin Oak Trees

The oak can be host to 250 species of insect. The acorns produced by the tree are eaten by magpies, crows and jays.

Holly Tree

A symbol of the winter season, the red berries of the holly feed many species of bird, which also build nests in the foliage.

Holly Tree

The fallen foliage from the holly provides the hedgehog and toad with a warm haven from the cold.

Thuja Tree

As with many trees, gaps in the bark of the thuja tree provide a safe haven for insects in the winter months.