This fabulous grand oak tree came second to the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest in 2014 as one of England’s finest trees. That was the inaugural UK Tree of the Year competition and many of the local residents have been fighting to gain Old Knobbley more recognition.
It’s hard to image many more ancient trees getting as many visitors as Old Knobbley gets. in the short time I was there around 15 to 20 people arrived, looked and in some cases climbed up the tree by using well-worn foot holds created over centuries.
On this day I’m meeting author, Morag Embleton a former local resident, who was inspired by the tree to create a children’s book nearly 20 years ago. The book is called ‘Old Knobbley – the oak tree’ and is available online and in local independent stores.
Have you been to see Old Knobbley? Tell us about your time visiting ancient trees by posting a comment below >>>
Burnt sections of the tree are still visible from an attempt to set Old Knobbley on fire in 2018. Fortunately, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service was quick to respond and the tree continues to live on.
Morag says the tree was planted around 800 years ago dating it back to the time of Magna Carta in the 13th century. The inspiration for her book was drawn from Old Knobbley and thinking about the many historical scenes the tree might have seen, such as the Mayflower Ship leaving Harwich port or the search for witches.
Old Knobbley is another example of just how fragile and exposed to damage our natural heritage can be.
However, this glorious oak continues to stand in a small corner of Essex and with a little luck maybe it might win Tree of the Year at some point in the future.
For more information about Old Knobbley click here.
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