"In Britain, A Census Goes Deep Into The Woods"

"In the Chiltern Hills of southeast England, forester Bob Davis strolls through the woodlands. Davis is a big, bearded, gentle man — think Hagrid in the Harry Potter books — but he is dwarfed by the gnarled and twisted giants around him.

We're walking through to probably the biggest tree in the woodland," he says. "It's a bit of a 'wow factor,' this one."

He points to a beech tree believed to be 400 years old. The tree, in a dim, dappled clearing, is almost as wide as it is tall. It has a mossy, twisting, bulbous trunk and water pooling on its pocked bark.
Web Resources
Britain's Ancient Tree Hunt

Naturalists say as many as 70 percent of Europe's ancient trees may be in Britain. Now, two British charities are working to identify every single one. "

Vicki Barker reports for NPR September 3, 2009.

Friday, September 4, 2009