Longleat Estate: From little acorns, mighty oaks grow
Saturday 06 November 2010
One of my favourite areas of woodland is the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire, near Warminster. It is probably better known for its safari park, but that's not for me. Since January 2009, Longleat has also been home to 200 oak trees planted as a growing monument to the evolutionary thinker Charles Darwin.
In 2009, the Natural History Museum marked Darwin's bicentenary and the 150 years since the publication of On The Origin Of Species, with the invitation to artist Tania Kovats to create a permanent installation in the iconic museum building.
She responded by creating a sculpture installation called TREE, a dissection of an entire 200-year old oak that was inserted into the ceiling in one of the Central Hall's mezzanine galleries. Many experts, in particular from Longleat where the tree was uprooted, were involved. The estate is known for its conservation approach in forestry and its sites of Special Scientific Interest.
In exchange for the one tree taken from the estate, 200 saplings were planted by us. Some of the acorns for the saplings were taken from an oak planted on the site by George III in 1789.
Oak trees are amazing ecosystems, and also help us to lock up carbon from the atmosphere. The sequence of planting trees, sustainable use of wood and replanting trees is a cycle of carbon storage. Forests help us to breathe: they are good for biodiversity and the climate.
Amazonia, an art science exhibition inspired by the Amazon rainforest, is open at the Natural History Museum until 12 December ( www.nhm.ac.uk/amazonia)
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
£17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...