'Hitler's oak' at How Hill in Ludham cut back

Hitler's Oak Christopher Boardman was the helmsman of the British yacht Lalage

An oak presented to a gold medal winner at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games by Adolf Hitler has been severely cut back in a bid to save it.

The "Hitler's oak" sapling was given to sailor Christopher Boardman, who planted it at his home in How Hill, Ludham, in Norfolk.

It never recovered from the 1987 Great Storm, and the How Hill Trust that now runs the estate decided to pollard it.

It is said be the last surviving Hitler oak in the UK.

The saplings were given to all gold medal winners at the 1936 Olympics and received their nickname because of the Nazi leader's association with the Berlin Games.

'So dangerous'

Mr Boardman, who died in 1987, was the helmsman of the British yacht Lalage, which won the gold medal in the 6-metre class.

Hitler's Oak The Hitler's oak was brought to Norfolk in 1936

Simon Partridge, director of the How Hill Trust, said the tree was of historical importance.

"I believe only four trees came back to this country [from Berlin] and this one is the last one remaining.

"The tree surgeon said it was so dangerous it had to be felled immediately, but I was a bit concerned about that because of its historical provenance.

"We got another tree surgeon... and instead of being felled, which would have been an awful shame, it's being substantially pollarded and the experts hope it will survive."

How Hill remained in the Boardman family until Mr Boardman's father, Edward, died in 1950 and the estate was split up.

Eventually in 1966 the marshes, woodland and gardens were bought, along with the house itself, by Norfolk County Council Education Department.

It came under the control of the How Hill Trust in 2002.

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