International expert on ancient oaks to give talk in Shrewsbury

A leading international expert on ancient trees will reveal the secrets and history of the oldest English oaks when he gives a talk in Shrewsbury.

Aljos Farjon, the former scientific officer for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will give the talk, entitled ‘Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape’, on Tuesday March 12.

“The lecture, while featuring several individual oaks, is about a phenomenon unique to England, explaining why this country has more ancient oaks than all the rest of Europe combined,” said Dr Farjon.

The talk, organised by The Severn Tree Trust, will take place in the 026 Lecture Room at the University Centre Shrewsbury, in Frankwell, at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced at £6.88, are available through Eventbrite.

Mr Farjon worked as a scientific officer for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from 1996 until 2006. He is now an honorary research associate with Kew and has published 20 books and more than 100 scientific papers.

“This is a rare opportunity for anyone who wants to discover the mysteries of our ancient oaks to hear a talk by one of the country’s leading experts on these marvels of nature,” said Severn Tree Trust spokesman David Martin.

Tickets for the talk are available at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ancient-oaks-in-the-english-landscape-by-aljos-fa.... A limited number of tickets will also be available on the door on the night. Alternatively they can be purchased by post by sending a stamped addressed envelope and a cheque, payable to ‘Severn Tree Trust’, to John Tuer, Evergreen, 5 Woodside, Homer, Much Wenlock TF13 6NQ.

England has around 3,400 recorded ancient oak trees, while Continental Europe has around 2,000. An oak becomes ancient when its girth reaches a circumference of five metres, indicating an age of around 400 years old.

Shropshire’s oldest oak is also one of the oldest in the UK. Recorded at Lydham Manor, near Bishop’s Castle, with a girth measuring 11.9m, it is thought to date back 1,200 years, pushing through the earth of Anglo-Saxon England before the reign of Alfred The Great.

For further information about The Severn Tree Trust visit www.severntreetrust.com.

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