Tuesday 19 November 2019

In search of the ancient ones.

We have been blessed with a couple of sunshine filled Sundays here in West Sussex of late. Such days are interspersed with many more that have been dull and grey so I've been out taking full advantage of the beautiful light! Reading up about Petworth Park [not far from here] I stumbled across their "Ancient Tree" walk. Boots on.......

There's something about a British autumn that just makes my soul sing. It lacks the stunning colours of the New England Fall [which blew me away when I was there years ago], but the palette of golds and russets is very rich on a bright day.

Unfortunately I'm a bit rubbish when it comes to identifying trees, but we saw many new ones on our amble round including the pin oak, the red oak and the scarlet oak which are native to North America. The red ones below are Swamp Cypresses and were planted in the park in 1638.

This Common Lime is 600-700 years old and is completely hollow. Apparently though it's still got several hundred years of life left in it. I think those are red shoots round its trunk.

There are many trees which exceed 500 years old. This Sweet Chestnut's branches have twisted themselves into an amazing arch and the oldest oak is 940 years [no photo]. It seems almost incomprehensible to me that it was a sapling when the Normans successfully invaded in 1066.

However, this final specimen came with its very own name plate.

According to the NT website there's been an oak of this name shown on maps since 1779, although this one is later.  It marks the parish boundary and it's thought that the name is down to the belief that the land beyond it was spiritually suspect! 



  1. Replies
    1. It's one of the joys of walking for me.

  2. These trees are extraordinary! That there is a full park of these ancient beauties makes this my good news story this morning.

    1. Thank you Pipistrello. So glad you enjoyed them too.


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