British oaks from some of the UK’s most famous estates could contribute towards the rebuilding of Notre Dame cathedral, following an offer from members of Historic Houses, the association for independently owned historic houses and gardens.

So far more than one hundred donor estates, including Belvoir Castle, Hutton-in-the-Forest, Scone Palace, Castle Howard, Holkham Hall, Powderham Castle, and Firle Place (named after the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘oak woodland’), have volunteered valuable trees, planted for timber centuries ago, as a gift from the UK to France for the restoration of the iconic landmark’s roof, destroyed by fire earlier this week.

It’s not the first time Britain’s great houses have rallied round to help with a major heritage restoration project. Given that the construction of the original roof in the twelfth century is estimated to have required 1,300 mature oaks, the donors are well aware that their contribution could only provide a fraction of what’s needed, but they hope the gesture will inspire others.

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