Tree – Bark – Walk 2023
New Tree Walk
On Sunday 18th November I trialed a new dog friendly tree walk in London in association with the Golden Leaf charity. It was a great success and a good way of exercising the dog and talking about London’s trees and History.
Starting at Fulham Palace we headed across Putney Bridge, along the Thames River path and then in land towards the London Wetland Centre and Barnes Common. Along the way we stopped at different types of trees – ash, oak, yew etc. – that have been central to the development of European civilisation and culture. Trees were so fundamental to technological developments thousands of years ago that they entered the mythology of the ancient Greeks, Norse and Celts. Trees provided essential materials for weaponry, transportation, medicine, buildings and fuel right up until the 20th Century. I highlighted our dependence on trees past and present and then the Golden Leaf Charity presented their plans to help to green the city streets of London not only with trees but with low down greenery too.
Barney the largest London Plane in the capital
We stopped at several magnificent trees including probably the oldest and biggest London Plane tree in the world called Barney. Barney is a giant with a girth of over 7 metres.
I am particularly pleased with my new talk “The A-Z of the Amazing Ash Tree – From Alzheimer’s to Zeus”. It is based on my book ASH by Reaktion Books and highlights some of the extraordinary facts and stories I unearthed – from the role that the ash tree had in the mythology of the Greeks, Romans and Norse to the importance of ash in the development of settled agriculture, weaponry and transport to its medicinal use which spans over 2000 years from the Greeks, ancient Chinese , North American indigenous peoples and now in the 21st century the fight against diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.