Sunday, December 30, 2007


The Truth About Trees… Part 5

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According to my grand parents, I’m a Hereditary ‘Brown’ Witch that ‘Walks the Chalk’.

One of my clients Terry Pratchett, bless him, wrote about us in his ‘Hat full of Sky’.

It is well worth reading… Click the Read More Link above... because he knows what he is talking about.

Today whilst the full moon watched me, I was walking the chalk, through part of our local forest.

This old forest is full of English Yew Trees with an average age of 2000 years.

There are hundreds of these ancient trees, forming what is probably the largest collection in the UK, if not Europe.

They are in, what the experts call a ‘Hanging Wood,’ on the Escarpment ( the steep slope ) of the North Downs in Kent.

The slope is about 70 degrees, with only 4 inches ( 9 cms ) of poor soil covering the chalk.
Not the best place to live, but English Yews love it and refuse to live anywhere else; as any green-fingered, or green-thumbed, gardener will tell you.

The Tree Spirits in this forest, tell me both it and they, has been there for well over 50,000 years, and my BackBrain family memory supports the last 9,000 years of this.

As far as we know, it is a small remnant of the huge natural forest that was here in the last ice age.

In those days, England was still part of Mainland Europe, and the forest stretched right across Southern Europe to the mouth of the Danube.

In fact, a squirrel could have climbed a tree where I live and travelled all the way through the tree-tops to the beaches of the Black Sea, without it’s feet needing to touch ground on the journey.

About 5,500 years ago, England became an Island; cutting us off from the mainland.

Since then, the Celts, and all the other invaders that followed them, have cut down almost all of the forest; apart from the little strip that nobody wanted of our steep hillsides in Kent.

Natural virgin forests like this are extremely rare and pure delight to explore.

Maybe, if I am spared, I’ll organise a few trips for next spring or the summer holidays, so that you can experience it for yourself.

I’ll announce it, in this Blog nearer the time; so stay tuned.

If you'd like to book a place, you could e-mail me at

The Picture above, shows an extremely ancient Multi-Trunked GrandMother Beech Tree in the same forest.

More to follow….

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