• Ash Tree Down

    This is almost certainly what we have to look forward to. Ash trees will be tumbling all over the country in ever increasing numbers as ash dieback nails them. This old ash pollard was struggling three or four years back, but I'm fairly sure that ash dieback, along with fungi were the final nails in the coffin for it. The abundance of ivy also made it a huge wind sail for the sudden gust of wind that brought it down on what was otherwise a fairly calm day. As I came home on the 1st it was apparent that it had fallen only a few minutes before my arrival. Possibilities don't bear thinking about!!! I had suggested to the farmer on a couple of occasions that it might be a good idea to bring it down in a more controlled manner, but it was always one of those I'll-get-around-to-it jobs. The only up side is that I have quite a bit of firewood tucked away for the winter.

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  • ...and what exactly is this tree? Eucalyptus globulus? And why?

    Visiting Yorkshire last week and as I was walking through the churchyard in Otley I happened upon this remarkable old tree that appears to have gently laid itself down to rest. Initial thoughts are that it is one of the eucalypts - perhaps a blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) - the leaves look about right. It's pretty old I reckon, although they do have the capacity to grow fast. But why here in this churchyard? A most unusual choice. Any further info. welcomed.

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  • Crowhurst Yew - 'Voices from the Past'

    The latest arrival in the historical archive is this fine glass lantern slide of the ancient Crowhurst Yew in Surrey, part of a series called 'Voices from the Past' and probably dating from around 1910. Still a famed and remarkable tree and one that I photographed almost twenty years ago for "Heritage Trees of Great Britain & Northern Ireland". The notice on the old door states that:

    'The Key of the tree can be had at the Manor House on opposite side of the road'.

    The sign is long gone but the tree is still in great shape.

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  • Lassington Oak

    Latest acquisition for the archive collection is this splendid image of the famous Lassington Oak - a grand old tree that once grew in Lassington Wood near Highnam in Gloucestershire. The photograph is actually dated 15th August 1895 on the reverse and would appear to have been taken by some unknown amateur photographer. Look carefully and you'll see that he hitched his horse near the tree while he took the shot. This may be the earliest existing image of the tree, although it was soon to be followed in the Edwardian era by a whole host of representations on postcards - clearly a popular local subject with plenty of sales potential. The tree fell in 1960 and if you look online you'll see that the rotting remains still survive on the woodland floor. Fame of the name has survived in the title of the local morris side - Lassington Oak. Again, find out more about them on the Internet.

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  • Selling coppice almost 200 years ago

    Latest piece of wonderful ephemera acquired for the archive collection is this auction notice for Oak and Ash Coppice around Ledbury, Herefordshire back in 1822. Printed on incredibly thin paper it's a miracle that it survived. Note the use of so many different fonts - a typical feature of such posters from the 19th century. I know for a fact that some of these woods still exist. Frith Wood is a large wood above Ledbury and Astwood is a small block of woodland near Aylton, just a couple of miles from Ledbury. I plan to try and track down some of the other names. I particularly like the way that whoever once owned this has scribbled the prices realised at the sale plus the names of the individual buyers. A unique and truly fascinating piece of social history!

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Archie Miles photography

Archie's Blog

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