The Wytham Estate is turning 100 this year and will be celebrating the centenary with a year of events.

The anniversary event for the estate starts on January 22 when the first of 100 trees will be planted by visiting schools to mark 100 years.

The saplings will create new woodland and a wildlife corridor between the two sides of the estate.

A special programme of events will celebrate the rich history of these places, whilst looking forward to a future of outdoor education with the young people of Oxfordshire.

Hill End Centre Director Selby Dickinson said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating this important anniversary with our partners at Wytham Woods, and also excited about what we can achieve as a new charity. As a society we now recognise all the many benefits of outdoor learning – and that’s been happening here for a century. This year is all about making sure we can do that for the next 100 as well”

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The Wytham Estate was purchased in 1920 by the philanthropic ffennell family, who established Hill End ‘Camp’ and later gifted the whole estate to the University of Oxford.

For generations, children from Oxfordshire have visited Hill End for school trips.

Wytham Woods became the ‘laboratory with leaves’ and it is one of the most researched pieces of woodland in the world.

The workers at the Wytham Estate and Hill End believe the need to engage young people with nature and the environment has never been more pressing.

The Conservator of Wytham Woods, Nigel Fisher, said: “If future generations are inspired to gaze in wonder at a butterfly, simply sit under a tree and meditate, or buy an organic apple from a local orchard, then the Wytham Estate has achieved its aims.”

The estate will be promoting developing land management and outdoor skills in young people.

The Wytham Estate is calling on the local community to get involved with fundraising, donations or volunteering this year.

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The year will be full of events and in June the public will be invited to an anniversary summer festival which has been organised by the ‘Friends of Hill End.’

The 100-year-old estate was owned by the wealthy ffennell family from the 1910s and was used as a camping site.

In the Second World War the site was hit by a bomb and later, from 1941-1945, Oxfordshire Scouts ran camping holidays at Hill End as an escape for children from badly bombed cities.

In 1984 Hill End Camp became Hill End and amalgamated with the Field Study Unit.

As part of the millennium, 2,000 trees were planted to celebrate the Children of the Millennium, along with the Willow Maze and Challenge Trail.

In July 2017, Hill End passed from Oxford County Council management to become a new independent charitable trust offering an outdoor space.