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World News

'Lord of the Rings' ancient church Yew to be dedicated to the Queen

by Donna Birrell

An ancient yew tree framing a door of a church in Gloucestershire is to be dedicated to the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee. 

The tree, at St Edward's Church in Stow on the Wold is among 70 ancient woodlands and trees selected to mark her 70 years on the throne. 

The project is being unveiled by the Prince of Wales who is patron of the Queen's Green Canopy, a tree-planting initiative which has been encouraging people to plant a tree for the Jubilee to create a legacy in honour of the Queen. 

It's believed the tree at the North Door of St Edward's Church may have inspired JRR Tolkien's description of the Doors of Durin in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Some people say the writer discovered the 13th Century door during one of his many visits to the Cotswolds. 

Other trees being dedicated include the Boscobel Oak in Shropshire, a descendant of the tree Charles II used to hide from parliamentary forces in 1651 and Sussex's Five Hundred Acre Wood, the inspiration for 100 Acre Wood in the Children's classic Winnie the Pooh. Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree in the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham in Lincolnshire, which caused the mathematician to question why apples always fell straight down to the ground is also included.

In a video message recorded under the old Sycamore at Dumfries House in Scotland, Prince Charles said :

"I believe it is absolutely vital that we do our utmost to nurture our historic inheritance through careful management and, in the case of the woodlands, that we can expand them and link them to other natural features like our hedgerows.

"And if we are to create the 'ancient' trees of the future, we must plant more trees in hedgerows, fields, churchyards and avenues.

"Furthermore, I would suggest that some of those planted should be propagated from today's ancient trees, thus helping to preserve their unique provenance and heritage.

"These working woodlands and magnificent trees span our nation's amazing landscape and exist for everyone to enjoy.

"At the same time, they support biodiversity, and help to provide us with the most versatile and beautiful of materials for our craftsmen and women.

"But we need to replenish these precious, dwindling assets for future generations and for our depleted landscapes and townscapes."


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