Sheffield's Vernon Oak part of book fundraising campaign for city primary schools

The fundraising page aims to get a copy of The Lost Words to every primary school in Sheffield
The fundraising page aims to get a copy of The Lost Words to every primary school in Sheffield

A 150-year-old tree in Sheffield is at the centre of a fundraising campaign to give a much-loved children's book to every primary school in the city.

A crowdfunder page has been set up by the supporters of the Vernon Oak, a tree which is under threat of being felled under Sheffield Council's controversial Streets Ahead programme.

The Vernon Oak

The Vernon Oak

It aims to raise £3,200 in five weeks to buy a copy of The Lost Words for every primary school in Sheffield - and raised 50 per cent of its target in just 48 hours.

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The book, by nature writer Robert Macfarlane, and celebrated illustrator Jackie Morris, is about words the that are disappearing from children’s vocabularies - words for wild things like kingfisher, bluebell, newt and conker.

Already the page has raised more than £2,000 since it was launched last week.

Joanna Dobson, who helped set up the page, wrote on it: "Vernon and some of Vernon’s friends want to bring some joy to Sheffield at this difficult time.

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"They believe this extraordinary book has the power to enchant children with the beauty and wonder of the wildness that is right on our doorsteps."

The first book will be presented at Sheffield’s first Street Tree Festival, to be held on September 29.

The oak tree on Vernon Road in the affluent Sheffield suburb of Dore dates back to a time when the now built-up suburb was nothing more a few Derbyshire fields.

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It has become one of the most important trees in Sheffield’s campaign against the city council’s campaign against felling.

To donate to the page visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-lost-words-for-every-sheffield-primary-school-1 or click here.

The crowdfunder page is supported by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, The Wildlife Trust’s Teach Wild Network and Sheffield’s Rhyme and Reason Bookshop.