Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hug a tree for National Shed Week

Wood is at the very centre of shedworking and shedlife in general and at the start of National Shed Week Shedworking is asking all our readers to get involved with the Ancient Tree Hunt. The UK has the most ancient trees in Northern Europe and can live to be up to 5,000 years old. And so the Woodland Trust is asking everyone to join the Ancient Tree Hunt, recording the trees they find and their stories at The Trust is aiming to create the first interactive map of our ancient trees and their advice is breathtakingly low-tech - find your tree and hug it: the fatter it is, the older it is. Pictured is the famous Major Oak of Nottinghamshire.

“We’re asking people to look out for and record trees which are particularly old, fat and gnarled,” says Woodland Trust president Clive Anderson. "The sort of size we are after is a tree, perhaps an oak, which is so big that it would take you and at least two or more friends to hug it all the way around, finger tip to finger tip. Perhaps you pass a great old tree every day, it probably has a great story. We’d love you to go online and tell us about it.”

Sue Holden, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, explains: “Different trees become ancient at different times, but an ancient oak is likely to be at least 400 years old. Many are much older, and yews can live for thousands of years. We think there may be half a million ancient treasures to be found.” Ancient trees are home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including many rare and threatened species that aren’t found anywhere else. As they get older, the trees develop holes, nooks and crannies and dead and rotting wood, perfect homes for lots of insects. Groups of ancient trees growing together are the most important of all as the variety of nooks and crannies they provide creates an amazing community of wildlife.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!!

    That's great!!

    It looks like a giant Bonzai tree!!

    Way cool! Thanks for sharing it!