I wrote a post yesterday about otters on the river Stour. What I’d actually set out to photograph was a tree. I know they’re completely different and hard to confuse (one being old and gnarled and the other soft and cute) but when ever I go for a walk I always seem to get distracted. It must be my age!
There are many old trees in Corfe Mullen, even the area that we are trying to protect from housing development includes an ancient copse. Trees are such great habitats for wildlife and play such an important part in all our lives that it seems only reasonable to want to protect them. Luckily lots of other people feel the same way, and this year the Woodland Trust launched the Ancient Tree Hunt, Mapping a Future for Ancient Trees.
In the words of The Woodland Trust “The Ancient Tree Hunt (ATH) involves thousands of people in finding and mapping all the fat, old trees across the UK and is right at the heart of the Woodland Trust’s ancient tree conservation work. It will create a comprehensive living database of ancient trees and it’s the first step towards cherishing and caring for them“.
So if you think you have any ancient trees near to where you live, how about recording them on the Ancient Tree Hunt website.
I’ve started to do this in my “patch” and it’s surprising how many you can find and how attached you get to them. I have even started going back and looking at them in the different seasons, and checking they are OK. It’s also very good for your health to hug a tree on a regular basis!
The photographs above show an oak near the Stour that I photographed yesterday. I’m in the process of recorded it on the Ancient Tree website (I’ve already recorded it’s smaller brother), but wanted some more information and photographs. I’m not sure how old it is but with a girth of over 5 metres (1 metre larger than it’s brother!) it must be getting on for 300 or even 400 years old. Plus it has the most amazing hollow trunk and twisted branches. Somehow photographing it in the winter seems to accentuate it’s shape and strength even more. Awe inspiring.
Lastly I’d like to finish with a poem for Simon.
The Oak by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Then; and then
All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough