Sunday, 19 August 2018 Contact us

TREE PORN (NO REALLY…)

Ancient Oaks

Tolkien’s Ents (walking, talking trees for the uninitiated) WERE queuing outside but the entrance to Blenheim’s Marlborough Room is very low so despite a lot of unnecessary pushing and shoving, they were eventually turned away. Yes, life is tough, especially if you’re a conifer, but for those of us mere humans, Dutch botanist Aljos Farjon’s talk on England’s ancient oaks was fascinating.
Indeed, this is precisely the kind of event that typifies this festival - slightly quirky, unexpected but totally, totally engrossing. And Farjon proved the perfect guide too - dry, urbane and deliciously Dutch.
So much so, what I and the rest of his audience don’t now know about England’s ancient oaks frankly isn’t worth knowing.
Yet despite his wonderful delivery and fact-packed narrative, it was his pictorial slide show that held me most in awe. Hell, Oaks really are beautiful aren’t they? Old and wise and limb-twisted supermodels of the hardwood kind, I just sat and drank in their beauty.
Ludicrous to say I know, but I was genuinely moved by this talk.

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