J Peggy Taylor
Our woods were beautiful at the weekend as we took in the Autumn colours and swished our feet through the deep carpet of leaves along the paths. Trees and woods are such a pleasure at all times of year, but in Autumn they have a special appeal. I’ve shared a couple of images from our walk in this post.
As many of us in the northern hemisphere are enjoying the beauty of our trees and woodlands in their Autumn glory, here in England it’s time to vote for our favourite tree to be crowned England’s Tree Of The Year.
After receiving over 200 nominations from tree-lovers around the country for some of the most amazing trees in England, the Woodland Trust has drawn up its shortlist of 10 special trees. Now we can vote for our own personal favourite from the shortlist. The chosen tree will represent England in the 2015 European Tree of the Year contest. Why for England only and not the UK? Don’t worry, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are not missing out here, as each country chooses its own tree.
What is the European Tree of the Year contest all about?
“We are not searching for the oldest, the tallest, the biggest, the most beautiful or the rarest of trees. We are searching for the most lovable tree, a tree with a story that can bring the community together.”
There are some wonderful and historic contenders on the shortlist for England’s Tree Of The Year – what they do have in common is that all of them are well-loved:
- The Big Bellied Oak in Savernake Forest, one of Wiltshire’s ancient ‘Royal Forests’ dating back to Norman times. With a girth of 10.8 metres, this ancient oak lives up to its name.
- The Allerton Oak in Calderstones Park, Liverpool, another contender dating back to medieval times when it is believed to have been used as a court of law.
- The Whiteleaved Oak in the Malvern Hills, Herefordshire , thought to be 400-500 years old. This tree is considered significant by the Druids.
- Kett’s Oak in Hethersett, Norfolk, named after Robert Kett, the leader of the Norfolk Rebellion in 1549 who mustered his men under the oak before marching on Norwich.
- Newton’s Apple Tree at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. This is the tree under which Isaac Newton was sitting when the apple fell on his head and from this experience he subsequently developed his theory on gravity.
- The Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede on the River Thames in Surrey is possibly the oldest contender in the list, believed to be over 1400 years old. This tree would have seen King John signing the Magna Carta.
- The Shugborough Yew in Staffordshire is a relative youngster at around 350 years old. But its claim to fame is that it is the tree with the widest span in the UK, with an amazing circumference of 200 yards.
- The Ickwell Oak in Bedfordshire is believed to be 350 years old and is highly regarded by its local community.
- Old Knobbley is an ancient oak in the Essex village of Mistley and is thought to be at least 800 years old. This tree has inspired a picture book, telling its story.
- The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire is the tree associated with the legend of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This tree is thought to be 800-1000 years old.
You can see the images of all of these fabulous trees on the Woodland Trust’s website here, where you can also vote for your favourite from the shortlist. Voting closes on 4th November so do take a look and choose your nomination for England’s Tree Of The Year.
Our ancient trees and woodlands are very precious and I am always keen to support or celebrate these living monuments. Now all I need to do, is to make my mind up which one to choose as Tree Of The Year …
J Peggy Taylor
This tiny Sycamore seedling tree is one of the many mini trees I have growing in my yard. As I was watering my plants last evening I noticed how beautiful Autumn colours had flooded into this little tree’s leaves.
J Peggy Taylor
Each of the seasons has its own special attractions and things to look forward to. They also have their own set of colours. Autumn certainly doesn’t do colour in half measures in our area. As well as the science magic of anthocyanin as it paints the Autumn leaves red, there are some other colour highlights we watch out for during this season.
This is one of the things I always look forward to in Autumn – amazing sunrises and sunsets. This photograph was taken from our front door just after dawn.
Fungi are another source of Autumn colour we like to seek out on our woodland walks. Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria provides one of the classic ‘toadstool’ images, with its bright red cap dotted with white spots. The ‘spots’ are not strictly part of the cap, but are really remnants of the white veil that covers the fungus as it grows.
This Jelly Ear fungus looks rather brain-like in my son’s photo!
I think the White Helvella fungus looks like it has been fashioned out of molten wax.
To complete the ‘Metal’ aspect of Cee’s challenge this week I have chosen one shot from our family archives and a new image I came across on a walk just this week.
This rusty old child’s bike was retrieved from undergrowth by our sons, specifically for use as practice subject matter for photography!
We seem to come across these kind of field gates on our walks … rusty and somewhat bent out of shape!
Be sure to check out what others have chosen for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on the theme of Metal or the Season of Autumn this week.
J Peggy Taylor