Thursday, April 08, 2021

The Ancient Tree Map

Around 500 churchyards in England contain Yew trees which are older than the churches themselves. No-one knows exactly why so many churchyards have ancient Yew trees growing in them. One common belief is that Yews were planted in churchyards to deter animals (the bark, leaves and seeds of yew trees are highly poisonous to cattle, horses and many other animals).

You can find ancient Yew trees and the locations of the United Kingdom's other most elderly trees on the Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Inventory. Share your location with the Ancient Tree Inventory interactive map and you can discover the location of all the very old trees which can be found near you. On the map ancient trees are shown using colored tree markers. The different colors of marker indicate whether the tree is on public or private land. Different letters on the markers indicate whether the tree is 'ancient', 'veteran' or 'notable'. If you click on a marker you can discover the species of tree and its diameter.

Some people claim that the oldest tree in the UK is the Fortingall yew tree in Perthshire. The Fortingall yew is believed to be between 2,000 and 3,000 years old. Some say the tree could be as much as 5,000 years old. The Fortingall yew grows in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall.Like many yew trees found in churchyards it predates the birth of Christ - which tends to disprove the theory that the trees were planted to deter animals from churchyards (the churches came after the Yews).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So then they located the churches next to the ancient yew trees to keep the animals away.