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All hail the mighty oak….

Tightly interwoven into the history of Great Britain, the oak has played its part in our past more than any other native tree. At the Heart of England Forest the tradition of this strong native tree is being upheld, with both pedunculate and sessile oaks planted in large numbers.

Woodcock

One of the many surveys we’re undertaking this year is for the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), an elusive and characterful wading bird that had previously been spotted on numerous occasions in the Forest.

Walk with giants in a glorious garden

  If you’ve never been to the Garden, you are missing out. If you have, you’ll know that it warrants more than one visit as there’s simply too much to see and take in one day! With more than 50 life-size bronze statues of some of the most iconic figures in history, set in beautifully landscaped gardens, it is fast becoming one of the region’s worst kept secrets. Filled with the figures that inspired Heart of England Forest founder Felix Dennis, the garden started life way back in 1989 and over the ensuing 25 years gradually became populated with the extraordinary array of icons that grace it now. While titans of the 20th century, such as Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia stand shoulder-to-shoulder with timeless cultural luminaries including William Shakespeare, Chuck Berry and Oscar Wilde, the significance of some of the figures may not be so readily obvious to those other than their particular admirers. Two such names that will not be so immediately recognisable might be those of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, although their work has had a huge bearing on our modern lives.  In 1843, Lovelace (the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron) translated a scientific paper by the Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea, entitled ‘Sketch of an Analytical Engine’, and added 65 pages of footnotes to it that included the earliest complete computer programme. This rendered Lovelace the world’s first computer programmer at the age of just 27. Meanwhile, Lovelace’s friendship and work with the inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage (who is often cited as the father of computing) sparked an invaluable...
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