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Scots Pines

These waymarkers were used by drovers to guide them to a favourite inn, or a safe river-crossing, in dead ground.  Picture #1 is of a clump of pines above the Wye crossing at Erwood, South Wales. 

Pines are fast-growing, evergreen and stand out like an alien species – they appear almost black from a distance.  According to John Trimmer, drovers from North Wales brought pine-cones down with them and planted them in clumps of three or five near the inns they wanted to recommend.  (In fact in the 1600’s it was drovers who re-introduced pines to the south where they had died out after the last Warm Period.) 

Picture #2 is taken in Featherbed Lane leading to Coldharbour Barn.  Honest!

Of course we are seeing the descendants of the originals.

(Warning: the railway companies used the same system to mark their stations in the age when people walked.)

Scots Pines image 1
Pine Trees above Erwood
Scots Pines image 2
Pines near Mixbury