Thursday, 27 November 2014
Monday, 24 November 2014
In England's First Tree of the Year competition Old Knobbley came second place missing the top title by just 465 votes.
The winner was the Major Oak of Robin Hood fame.
Loyal supporters of Old Knobbley have asked on Old Knobbley's facebook page that the Major Oak undergo a drugs test claiming that the Nottinghamshire tree has been using unnatural substances for years.
Old Knobbley quickly came to his distant cousin's defence saying in his deep slow voice “My old friend, that you know as the Major Oak, has in his past struggled with humans filling his trunk with concrete, cladding branches with lead and then fibre-glass all in an effort to help and support. But now the humans know better and are helping to wean my dear cousin off these unnatural substances. The Major Oak can hardly be blamed for their use.”
Other Old Knobbley fans in a letter to the East Anglian Daily Times have cited the fact that Old Knobbley does not have a USP as his failure to win the competition, implying that he needed to be linked to historical figures to be taken seriously in a competition featuring such culturally significant trees as Robin Hood's Oak or Newton's Apple.
Old Knobbley's biographer, Morag Embleton, spent a long time explaining unique selling points to Old Knobbley and after pause of a day or two Old Knobbley said “I don't understand this need for fame. Many trees have succumbed to it. There are many Apple trees that claim to have inspired Newton and as for Robin Hood? Whether he did indeed live will remain a secret amongst us trees. If the Major Oak isn't going to tell, then neither will I. If you need stories of me and Boudicca or the Witch Finder General then please find them or create them (although the Boudicca line will be a bit of a stretch – I'm told I look good for my age but I'm not 2000 years old!).
“I prefer that I am loved for being me, a tree that has been growing here in Mistley for 800 or so years (possibly longer, I can't remember). I knew your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, I could go on... I have worked for many hundreds of years to provide timber for your houses, boats and fireplaces. There may be a bit of me still in the local houses or churches. I'm sure you clever folk could do a DNA test to find out. I have provided many homes for other species often sacrificing my leaves and acorns to keep insects, birds and other animals alive. You would not believe what wood boring larvae and fungal mycelium are doing to me! Many of the younger trees in this wood and beyond are my children, all of us taking in your carbon dioxide and giving you oxygen to breathe.
Perhaps coming runner up is a blessing. I would hate for the visitors to me to increase so much that Mistley Parish Council had to worry about the compaction to my roots (that's a big tree killer you know) and then to fence me away from my friends with visiting hours for hugs limited to just one day a year with no chance of tree climbing as has happened to the poor Major Oak. No, the Major Oak can keep his fame if that is what fame does to a tree. I 'll take free 24/7 hugs and careful climbers over winning a competition any day.
I am very happy that my friends thought so kindly of me that I came a pretty close second in this competition. I understand that people put up posters and geocaches and did all sorts of things to support me. Thank you all. It warms my heartwood to know that I hold a special place in your hearts.”
Old Knobbley would like to thank John Lungley, Marian Hill, Sarah Tonks, Susan Anderson, John Bradley, Gerry Donlon and Sue Mackie as he is aware that they worked particularly hard to promote Old Knobbley in this competition..
Sunday, 19 October 2014
I thought that you would like to know that Old Knobbley, the ancient Oak tree that lives in Mistley, is one of ten finalists in The Woodland Trust’s contest to find England’s Favourite Tree of the Year. They were selected from over 200 trees that were nominated by the public.
Old Knobbley is special. He has a website, a presence on Facebook and a beautifully illustrated children’s book about the events that he has lived through during his long life. My daughter Morag is passionate about growing and protecting trees. This is top of her list of “must do" activities to help our environment,
On your Farm devoted part of their program on Monday to The Woodland Trust. Since then there has been a lot of interest from the national and local media.
Please support Old Knobbley NOW by voting on The Woodland Trust's website. You have until November 3rd. All you need is an email address.
Meanwhile you can keep up to date with events by looking at his special Vote for Me page on Facebook.
Please share this with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to vote.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
These are just some of the photos that I've taken near our new pond.
With thanks to Ispot, this is a Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly (Libellula depressa). It was hovering over this twig and dipping it's abdomen down onto it. Laying eggs!
Another Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly. There were quite a few of these darting across the water.
A saw one lone swallow and these busy House Martins. Difficult to get them in focus from a distance.They seen to be gathering mud. for their nest building.
This is the first damselfly that I've seen in the wood. They need water to complete their life cycle.
This male blackbird was enjoying a quick dip.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
For a number of people, this was the first time that they had looked round the wood since they helped with planting the trees and we received lots compliments from villagers and newcomers.Some more Buckle's Wood bags were sold- an added bonus.
Sunday, 1 June 2014
Had a wander in the wood to see if the pond was still brimful following the rain last week --and it was!
Managed to snap this little blue butterfly which I shall ask Ispot to identify. (a small blue perhaps)
Then, a lovely surprise. On the way home, I paused again at the pond I snapped this little creature which came up for air and and then disappeared into the murky water. A Water Boatman, perhaps.