Keeping history alive
Standing tall for hundreds of years, ancient trees are steeped in history and have witnessed countless historic events
F rom the sealing of Magna Carta and the courtship of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, to the forming of the first trade union, the trees that beheld these significant moments in history are still standing today. Gnarly, bent, ridged and hollow, ancient trees are living archaeology. There’s no set age for a tree to be considered ancient – fast-growing birch trees may be considered ancient at 150 years old, while a yew tree may have to wait until it’s 800 years old to receive the same accolade!
The UK is home to an exceptional number of ancient trees and many areas of the country have especially high concentrations – a visit to one of these might see you stepping back in time, into the remnants of one of the royal hunting forests or medieval deer parks.
As well as keeping history alive, ancient trees are valuable homes to an abundance of wildlife, plants and fungi – and at least 2,000 species of invertebrates. Without woods and trees, none of these would survive.
Find out more at woodlandtrust.org.uk/join