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Now, pay attention please... | by Fray Bentos
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Now, pay attention please...

In normal circumstances the Scots Pine has a notably perpendicular habit of growth and these strangely gnarled and twisty trunks, characteristic of "the Brecks" and often regarded as their emblem, were something I immediately noticed when first I came to the area. I finally found an explanation of the phenomenon the other day in Oliver Rackham's The Illustrated History of the Countryside, which I must have bought about fifteen years ago, but only recently began to read. This is a common occurance with me. When the open heathland of the area was enclosed during the early nineteenth century, it was the fashion to divide the fields with hedges of Scots Pine. Trained horizontally but subsequently neglected, the trees resumed their natural vertical tendency. There are said to be a few painstakingly preserved examples of Scots Pine hedges, but I've never knowingly seen one. The species is not native to the area, but is said to be well suited to this most arid part of England.

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Uploaded on April 9, 2016