‘Like a map of buried treasure’: location of UK’s ancient trees revealed

A map has revealed the probably location of the UK’s most historic bushes. It suggests there might be hundreds of thousands greater than beforehand although

“Like a map of buried treasure”. That’s how conservationists have described new analysis, which suggests there might be as many as 2m historic and veteran bushes within the UK — ten instances as many as beforehand thought. 

Researchers on the College of Nottingham experimented with mathematical fashions to map the probably location of historic bushes throughout the UK. Volunteers then carried out discipline visits to verify the reliability of the maps.

“Based mostly on one of the best performing distribution fashions, these estimates predict two million historic and veteran bushes, which is a tremendous improve on what’s at present recorded,” mentioned Dr Victoria Nolan, one of many lead researchers on the study. 

An historic tree is a tree that exhibits distinctive age in relation to different bushes of the identical species. Most historic bushes show comparable options, corresponding to a hollowing trunk, lifeless wooden within the cover or the presence of different organisms, corresponding to fungi or vegetation on its construction. Veteran bushes share comparable options and values to historic bushes, however they is probably not sufficiently old to be thought of really historic.

The analysis builds upon work carried out by the Woodland Belief, Historical Tree Discussion board and the Tree Register, which has mapped 180,000 bushes. 

“It’s exceptional that this analysis suggests we’re but to search out a lot of the UK’s historic bushes, the cathedrals of the pure world,” mentioned Adam Cormack of the Woodland Belief. “They’re on the market someplace — hidden in discipline corners, woods, hedges, even gardens and parks. [This research] is sort of a map for buried treasure.” 

The map created by researchers on the College of Nottingham

He added: “But it surely’s additionally worrying as a result of these bushes don’t have the automated authorized safety that the majority of our wildlife and previous buildings have. That is regardless of the actual fact some are greater than 1,000 years previous.”

The Woodland Trust is petitioning governments across the UK for higher safety of historic bushes.

“These astonishing bushes are our inheritance from historical past, and we needs to be treating them like nationwide treasures,” mentioned Cormack.

Most important picture: An historic oak tree in Epping Forest, Essex. Credit score: Iwona Wawro

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