University of Winchester

tree planting ceremony

Sunday 15th April

We will close the Conference with a simple tree planting ceremony to which you are all very cordially invited. The Ceremony will be suitable for those of any faith or none and you are invited to make a blessing from your own tradition.

We have decided to plant a beech tree to commemorate the second FSSC conference and some may wonder why we choose that particular species. The beech tree has thrived in the UK for hundreds of years, and many of the primeval forests of Europe were dominated either by beech or oak. For the ancient Celts the beech tree was a symbol of thanksgiving while in European mythology the tree symbolizes wisdom. In fact the word 'beech' originates from the same root as the Old English 'boc' which later became the English word 'book'.

Our beech tree may grow to a height of a hundred feet and live for 250 years. When mature, it will produce edible, delicately flavored nuts inside a little four-sided burr which long ago would have fed the pig herds which roamed the forests every autumn. We would like to thanks Richard Webster and the estate staff at the University of Winchester for their assistance with the tree planting.

References to the mythology of the beech tree are from The Green World Oracle by Kathleen Jenks which will be published in Autumn 2008.

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