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30 Nature Notes Lots to enjoy in the Great Outdoors THE WONDER OF TREES


shade and materials but they are crucial to the natural environment absorbing carbon dioxide, producing oxygen and contributing to soil health. Trees, hedges and woodland are a key feature of


T


Devon’s landscapes with Ancient Woodlands on Dart- moor, traditional orchards with heritage fruit and the familiar dense oak woodlands which line the estuaries. In the winter, trees take on a new look without their


leaves but look more closely and you can see signs of new life with buds and flowers. It’s easy to identify trees even without leaves. Just look at the twigs, bark, buds, flowers, fruits and seeds.


Name that tree! Can you identify the tree from the twig/flower/ bark/bud or silhouette? (Answers below)


1 2


rees are a vital part of our lives and are one of the longest living lifeforms on earth. Not only do they provide us and the world’s wildlife with shelter,


Dartington is the home to one of Devon’s oldest trees – a yew tree which is believed to be 1500 – 2000 years old. For several generations its wood provided material for medieval longbows.


3 4


THE HEALING POWER OF TREES We all know about tree hugging but have you heard of forest-bathing? This therapy originated in Japan where it’s known as Shinrin Yoku and where it has been one of the cornerstones in healthcare since the 80s. Forest bathing draws on the therapeutic power of nature connecting people with the natural environment to reduce stress and feel a sense of wellbeing. Interested? – look out for dates for ‘Wanders for well-being’ at Dartington.


If you love trees consider becoming a member of The Woodland Trust. They help protect plant and restore the UKs woodland and trees. See their website www.woodlandtrust.org.uk


They also have a brilliant Free app which can help you identify British trees by leaf shape, fruit, catkins, bark etc.


You can age a tree through its rings but these rings can also tell us about past climate change - even when volcanoes erupted.


1 - Ash. 2- Sweet chestnut. 3- Oak. 4-Silver birch


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