The estate and the Forestry Commission have agreed that 600ha of woodland in North Yorkshire, that includes 500-year-old oaks should be cleared of non-native species, such as conifers and sycamore, to allow oak, rowan, birch and alder to flourish, together with wild flowers.

Castle Howard forestry manager Nick Cooke said: “We are compiling a database of veteran trees and using forestry grants to speed woodland restoration. We will maintain an important commercial softwood business on the estate.”