Sherwood Forest oak tree loses Eurovision for trees

European Tree of the Year Competition

Robin Hood Major Oak, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

An oak tree located in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire which is thought to be around 1,000 years old has recently missed out on winning the title of the best tree in Europe.

The "Robin Hood Major Oak" was competing against 13 other trees in a public vote on the tree of the year website.

It had previously won England's first "Tree of the Year" competition in November, but was beaten to victory by a tree in Estonia.

Nottinghamshire County Council said it was pleased the competition gave the Major Oak such a high profile.

Tables at the iconic Leeds Castle in Kent

Leeds Castle in Kent

As we're based on the borders of Kent and London, Leeds Castle is only a short trip for us down the M20 motorway. It really is a stunning venue set in sprawling grounds and there's plenty to see and do when you get there.

It's a favourite venue for Kent weddings as the ancient castle makes the perfect backdrop for romantic, wedding day photoshoots. Steeped in history, the main castle is accessible through a low archway leading across the moat to the main door. Once inside, there are many plaques and boards on the walls detailing the history of the castle and its past inhabitants, together with a plethora of paintings draped along pretty much every wall.

Yew won't believe this...!

Is this the oldest tree in the UK and Europe?

Oldest tree in UK

According to tree experts who have done dendrochronology (ring dating) and DNA analysis on it, this amazing yew tree (Latin name: taxus baccata) is thought to date back to around 3000 BC. This means it's an astonishing 5000 years old if this estimate is accurate.

Putting this into perspective, it would mean that it started growing around 500 years prior to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza and was already a small sapling when construction was thought to have begun on Stonehenge.

The pros and cons of using a John Huxley Wheel for Fun Casinos

one of our john huxley wheels

There's no doubt about it, one of the world leaders in stunning, precision roulette wheel manufacturing is John Huxley. You can find their wheels in plush casinos all around the world from Vegas to Monte Carlo and they have built up a reputation for a broad range of high-quality casino products including tables and other accessories.

If you hire a fun casino for your event, you'll sometimes see them on a roulette table right in front of you. Whilst you can buy lightweight roulette wheels that are specifically made for the fun casino industry, they're fairly expensive to buy brand new. It's mainly the price tag that sees many fun casino operators scouring eBay looking for a cheaper alternative.

John Huxley roulette wheels will set you back a pretty penny if you buy one new but you can actually pick up a used one for a fairly modest price on eBay; typically a few hundred pounds for one that's got a few dings in it.

Central London's Lavish Park Lane Hotels

dorchester hotel london

We always think of Central London as one of those Marmite types of experiences - You either love it or you hate it. For tourists visiting the UK, London is certainly one of those must-see places to visit. There are of course so many iconic landmarks to see and a range of amazing and unique places to visit. If you've never taken a stroll down Park Lane, it's definitely worth the effort. If you do, you can also say you've ticked off the most expensive square on a Monopoly board as well. We found this (slightly blurred) pic before the event started which we think was at The Dorchester Hotel. It was a fun night... except for carrying the tables up the stairs and along the corridors but this is often par for the course at most large hotels.

Tree illusion

How do you make a tree float?

Best logs for burning

It never ceases to amaze me how creative the human mind can be.

Take a look at this photograph of a tree and see if you can figure out how it's done.

Just so you know, it's a real photo and the picture hasn't been tampered with in any way.

There is nothing either above the tree, nor out of camera shot to the left or right..

Event at The Elwick Club

elwick club ashford

We've worked at The Elwick Club in Ashford, Kent on a few occasions and it's a great, friendly venue to visit, with delightful attentive staff and a great atmosphere. It's a private members club that also boasts having a squash court and snooker tables and the venue also cater for all types of parties, weddings and corporate functions. If you've booked the venue for an event, you'll be amazed at the delicious food on offer too!

What wood is best to burn?

Best logs for burning

Not many people are aware that the burning of wood on your fire doesn't generate any more greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) than if it were to simply rot away on the ground in the woods.

It is therefore far more environmentally sustainable than burning fossil fuels such as coal or gas.

A real fire is an excellent choice if you're fortunate enough to have a wood burner or open fire in your home and this guide is intended to give you a rough idea of what to put on/ in it.

Do trees communicate?

City trees

Some people speculate that talking to our plants and trees is beneficial for them. Whether or not that's the case, here's a slightly different take on trees and plants communicating with each other.

Scientists are beginning to discover that plants are in some ways similar to us in that they “talk” to each other by releasing pheromones into the air.

Winter checklist

Winter tree care - How to look after them in winter
The storms, ice and rapid temperature fluctuations above and below zero characteristic of winter weather take their toll on trees across the UK.. Even for species native to colder regions this can be a stressful time. This is particularly true for the exposed and isolated trees of the residential landscape. However, some of this stress is unavoidable. The average tree owner has little control over the climate but there are things that you can do to minimize the damage caused by the stresses of the winter months.

Cold stress
Cold stresses take a number of forms. The first is the effect on mature trees of a rapid change between daytime heat and night time freezing. These temperature variations can lead to stresses inside the tree between the outer bark and inner wood leading to cracks called frost cracking (this is the side receiving the most winter sunlight). There isn't much that can be done to prevent frost cracking.

A trip to the museum

Ginkgo gardneri

If you get the chance, check out the prehistoric trees outside London's Natural History Museum. Whilst not everyone's idea of a fun day out, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and found the Ginkgo gardneri particularly interesting.

The benefit of trees in our lives

City trees

Here's an interesting article about the benefits of having trees around us in our everyday lives. This is a California based organisation that cites what they see as the top 22 reasons to take care of and cherish the plants and trees that we live with. It's a sad fact that as major cities increase in size, the number and density of plants and trees around us is on the decline. Have a read and see what you think