Royal honour for ancient woodland

Monday 9th May 2022 4:00 pm
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Horner Woods
Horner Woods (National Trust )

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AN ancient woodland in West Somerset has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 ancient woodlands and trees to be dedicated to the Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.

The National Trust said it is “delighted” that Horner Woods in Somerset is among ancient woodlands and ancient trees in its care in the South West to have been chosen for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

The initiative was launched by the Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy.

It’s a UK-wide network of 70 ancient woodlands and 70 ancient trees. The chosen locations reflect a range of themes - Royal, history, children, education, literature/creative arts, science, conservation, communities, health and wellbeing.

Horner Woods is one of the largest unenclosed ancient semi-natural woodlands in the UK. In 1995 it was made a National Nature Reserve together with the surrounding Dunkery moorland.

Evidence of humans living in and using the woodland dating back thousands of years to the Bronze and Iron Ages. Seven settlements in the wood, six of which are still occupied, are recorded in the Doomsday book (a manuscript record of the “Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of William the Conqueror).

Matt Stanway, National Trust Trees and Woodlands Advisor in the South West said: “We are delighted to have five woodlands and eight of our notable trees included in this prestigious list and dedicated to The Queen’s remarkable 70-year reign.

“Trees mean so much to so many people and these dedications present a wonderful opportunity to share the brilliant stories of some of the UK’s most significant trees and woodlands which have themselves witnessed remarkable periods in history and have their own stories to tell.”

Established over hundreds of years, the chosen woodlands and trees represent the diverse canopy of the four nations, it is a celebration of our living heritage.

All the woodlands and trees have a story to tell. Some are famous specimens and others have a local significance.

These ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for so many people in many different ways. They are symbols of community pride, places to connect socially and vital spaces for health and wellbeing activities. By sharing the stories behind the ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.

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