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Roses for Peppercorns

A rose was presented by the Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council to the Earth Trust on Friday 23rd June 2017 in honour of an historic agreement allowing public access to Wittenham Clumps and Little Wittenham Nature Reserve.

Since February 1970, the ‘Wittenham Rose’ has been presented as a peppercorn rent to landowners at Little Wittenham. It is a symbolic gesture which allows ongoing free access for all to the woods, pastureland and iconic round hills of the reserve.

When the agreement was drawn up in 1970 the area was still in Berkshire. Since 1974 Oxfordshire County Council has presented the rose.

Councillor Zoe Patrick, Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council said: “This ceremony is a long standing tradition that the county council is delighted to honour. Public access to the countryside is an important issue for both the county council and the Earth Trust, so the Rose Ceremony is a very important annual event in our calendars. Indeed it is an a mid-summer Oxfordshire fixture and part of the fabric of our wonderful county.”

Jayne Manley, Chief Executive of the Earth Trust, said: “Earth Trust is proud to be guardian of this unique landscape and to be providing much-needed free access to the countryside. This year we are also celebrating the Earth Trust’s 35th birthday – the ceremony reflected on what we’ve achieved over the last three and half decades and looked ahead to our exciting vision for the next five years.”

Rose Ceremony

Graham Shaw, Earth Trust Chair of Trustees and Councillor Zoe Patrick



23rd June 2017