We know that trees mean a lot to people in Warlingham from our iconic circle of limes on the Green to individual favourites. In order to celebrate this connection, the Parish Council invites you to submit a digital photo of you/your family beside your favourite with a brief description of why it matters to you. We do expect photos and stories to come in throughout the year as you find the best time of year, and it can include both individual and groups of trees across the parish. We will put them up on the parish council website and you can see the first entry already –a resident with the oldest tree in Warlingham – to inspire you. Please send to clerk@warlingham-pc.gov.uk.

Our first favourite tree was sent in by:

Miss Marion Havard, lead for the All Saints Churchyard Volunteers.

“My favourite tree is the ancient yew tree in All Saint’s churchyard. In 1998, Robert Hardy and David Bellamy [both members of The Yew Tree Campaign of The Conservation Foundation] signed a certification that this tree was 2,400 years old. It is therefore clear that the tree was already 402 years old when Christ was born and was 1,652 years old when All Saints Church was built in 1250AD. It is the fifth oldest tree in Surrey and has a Tree Preservation Order [TPO] on it.

Many churches have yew trees in their churchyards. Possible reasons may be:

– Pagans regarded the tree as a symbol of fertility and danced naked around it
– Yew wood was used to make long bows and harps [a mixture of war and peace]
– Vikings used yew wood nails in their shipbuilding, and
– King Edward I [1272-1307] decreed that yew trees should be planted in churchyards to ensure a plentiful supply of wood for longbows.”