(Video link here.) We can think of no better way to start our day than to spend three minutes inside a 1500 year old tree.

This little video is a preview of the BBC Series, Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees which will explore the lives of trees through the cycles of the four seasons. Judi joins some of the best tree scientists and historians to unlock the remarkable secret lives of trees and the stories that they cannot tell.

But in this video, there is just her expression of awe at a tree that predates the Church and was worshipped and revered by Druids.

The Crowhurst Yew from Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time by Beth Moon

We found it too in this poem by Jo Shapcott, winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award for her collection Of Mutability. It is a beauty. Listen to her read it, below.  (Video link here.)


Indoors for this ash
is through the bark:
notice its colour – asphalt
or slate in the rain

then go inside, tasting
weather in the tree rings,
scoffing years of drought and storm,
moving as fast as a woodworm

who finds a kick of speed
for burrowing into the core,
for mouthing pith and sap,
until the o my god at the heart.




With thanks to Cara De Silva for the hot tip about the BBC series.

Portrait of the Crowhurst Yew by Beth Moon, from her wonderful book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time.

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