Hethel Old Thorn Nature Reserve

Hethel Old Thorn Nature Reserve

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Caption: Hethel Old Thorn, photographed in May 2013. This ancient hawthorn ( Crataegus monogyna ) is the sole inhabitant of one of the smallest nature reserves in the UK, situated just to the north of Hethel church in Norfolk. It is of many ancient trees in the UK with a claim to a pre-Christian origin, although evidence for this is unconvincing. What is certain is that it is one of the oldest hawthorns in Britain, and that it is now not so large as formerly. In 1841 James Grigor measured the girth of the trunk as 12 feet ( 3.7 metres). Since then, the trunk has split into two, of girths 1.1m and 1.5m. The tree was originally fenced in 1856, suggesting that it was already a specimen of wide interest and value. Today the tree is in the care of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust

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Keywords: ancient tree, biological, biology, botanical, botany, crataegus monogyna, hawthorn, hethel old thorn, james grigor, nature reserve, norfolk wildlife trust, oldest tree, smallest nature reserve

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