Welcome to week 2 of our one year nature study.
The woodlands we have chosen to study are very interesting, and we intend to explore all the aspects we possibly can. As a very quick peek into the delights we have coming our way this year, the common we are basing our study on is pre historic, with ancient earth works dating back to the iron age as well as a Roman villa and the remains of what was once a thriving Roman industrial site producing clay tiles. This has left a legacy of over 2300 oak pollards, one of which we will be studying for our one year tree study this year.
The chosen tree is the children’s choice and was unanimous (I didn’t even know this tree existed). It is a veteran oak tree, known locally as the Wishing Tree (apologies for photo quality. They are from my phone):
Isn’t it lovely? From my research, it seems this particular tree may be over 500 years old; it is enormous and there is a tangible sense of awe as we stand underneath looking up at its impressive umbrella of branches.
We are aware that within the clasps of this ancient tree resides an entire ecosystem which we are all very excited about exploring. Trees such as this one create an incredible habitat for all sorts wild life including birds, bats, other plants, invertebrates and saprophytic decay fungi.
It is said that if you join hands and are able to make a full circle around the tree’s trunk, you can make a wish and it will come true. The children, of course, had to give it a go….
They managed it, just, each making their own wishes:
But this isn’t the only reason it is known as the wishing tree. If you look closely enough you will see it has a friendly face, one I imagine would be easy to confide one’s wishes and hopes to:
Haven’t we chosen a fabulous tree to study this year? However this is not going to be the only one. Nearby is another tree, just as old, only this particular tree is dead. But that is a tree for another post.