Yet more amazing sunsets

These skies are wonderful

Alvecote Wood

Painted Sky Painted Sky

This year seems to have been a really special one for sunsets at the woods. Following on from the unreal skies I posted a short while ago, we had another stunning and unexpected sunset just before Christmas.

Not a promising start Not a promising start

I had actually just gone to the woods to feed the birds, and only took my little camera with me.  As I hung up the last of the feeders, I thought that the light was looking quite good, so I decided to go for a little walk.  The sunset was not that promising, and a bank of cloud was coming over, but I decided to wait a few minutes longer.  And then the sky started to turn pink and orange.

Starting to go pink Starting to go pink

More and more colour More and more colour

The colour started to develop until the whole sky was scarlet.  I headed down to the ponds to try…

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Christmas

Christmas Eve
wrapping presents;
reading letters from afar.

Christmas Day
giving gifts;
long telephone conversations!

Boxing Day
back to work;
the old year almost over,
the new one tempts me on;
fresh visions in my mind!

A very happy Christmas to all who pass this way!

Guest post: Ancient Tree Forum

Woodland Matters

Our long partnership with Ancient Tree Forum has involved a fascinating exploration into the UK’s incredible tree heritage. We are pleased to welcome Hannah Solloway, Development Officer at the Ancient Tree Forum, as a guest blogger, to talk about how the V.I.Trees campaign links it all together:

“The Ancient Tree Forum (ATF) held its autumn field visit at Newnham Park near Plymouth. The site was described by our local Devon group as ‘a real gem of the South West’, with its many distinctive and wonderful ancient oaks, and yet the trees on this site, like many others, are not formally recognised and have little or no specific protection in law.

The Woodland Trust’s Very Important Trees campaign supports the work of the ATF and the Tree Council in calling for the establishment of national registers to record, and to help celebrate and protect our nationally important and best-loved trees.

A register would…

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National parks going strong

CampaignerKate

Next week, on 16 December, we celebrate 65 years of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.  They are certainly not ready for retirement, there are so many good things happening there.  But it is sad to report that our finest landscapes are still under immense threat.

Less than two weeks ago, the government launched its Roads Investment Strategy which includes several schemes affecting national parks, in particular the Broads, Peak District and South Downs.  As the excellent Campaign for National Parks (CNP) has pointed out, this is contrary to government policy on road building in national parks.

The UK Government Vision and Circular for National Parks and the Broads 2010 states:

There is a strong presumption against any significant road widening or the building of new roads through a Park, unless it can be shown there are compelling reasons for new or enhanced capacity and…

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Congratulations to the Major Oak

Woodland Matters

The Major Oak is the 2014 ‘Tree of the Year’ in England.

I was pleased to join our Head of Campaigning, Nikki Williams, on a visit to the Major Oak in its famous forest home. We presented staff from Sherwood Forest County Park with a certificate from the Trust, confirming the tree’s accolade.

Winner!  Woodland Trust Head of Campaigning, Nikki Williams, presents the award certificate to members of the Sherwood Forest Trust, who accept the 'Tree of the Year' accolade on behalf of the Major Oak. L-R:  Nikki Williams, WINNER!!!
Woodland Trust head of campaigning, Nikki Williams, with staff from Sherwood Forest Country Park who accepted the ‘Tree of the Year’ accolade on behalf of the Major Oak.
L-R: Charleen Case, Jed Clampett, Adrian Grieve, Nikki Williams, Izi Banton

The Competition

Over the summer we asked for nominations for an individual tree with a story. It was hard to compile a shortlist of ten but once we had our list we asked the public to choose their favourite.

The response was fantastic! Nearly 13,000 people cast votes in just eight days and the competition received great coverage all over the…

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Custodians of living history

National Trust Press Office

The Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Specialist, Jill Butler, writes about her favourite National Trust trees and the threats facing the UK’s historic trees.

“As a tree archaeologist, I don’t find it very surprising that the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is one of the major custodians of ancient and other veteran trees.

The ancient Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in Surrey. Credit John Miller The ancient Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in Surrey. Credit John Miller

“One of the most special on my list would be the Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in Surrey. It is thought to be the location where King John, almost 800 years to the day, sealed the Magna Carta. Yews, which can live such long lives, were often used to distinguish burial or religious sites or venues for special occasions.

“The National Trust’s Ankerwycke Yew, Shugborough Yew and Newton’s Apple Tree were, quite rightly, shortlisted in this year’s Tree of the Year competition for England run by the…

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