Photos of the month

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Peter Thomas’ fabulous New Naturalist (Collins) on Trees has got me thinking about the inverse of our seemingly ever-more transient times (ministers of state who last a week and prime ministers a month): namely the durability of the other parts of life. Trees are our favourite long-lived organisms, and here are three of Britain’s most ancient specimens. The first, the Big Belly Oak (1) from Savernake forest in Wiltshire, is said to be older than the post-Norman English state. Then there is the Cathedral Oak (2 with a slightly younger PMC) also in Savernake, the very epitome of a veteran tree, and finally (3) the Doveridge Yew, Derbyshire, said to be 1,200 years old. The other nine images all carry captions and feature plants or animals whose longevity may pass unnoticed, but is nonetheless remarkable. Please note that if you are looking at this on your mobile some of the captions may slightly obscure the images, but turning your device on its side usually improves visibility.

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