Monica Perez Vega

Contemporary Artist | My Life in Trees

Queen Elizabeth I Oak


Yesterday I ventured out to West Sussex to meet an 800 year old (possibly 1,000 year old) sessile oak tree.

The Queen Elizabeth I Oak is a large sessile oak in West Sussex, England. It has a girth of 12.5–12.8 metres (41–42 ft), and is about 800–1,000 years old. In June 2002, The Tree Council designated the Queen Elizabeth I Oak, one of fifty Great British Trees, acknowledging its place in the national heritage. According to the Woodland Trust, the tree is the third largest sessile oak tree on record in the UK. While she was magnificent, I was also quite taken by her ladies in waiting. Several ancient oaks, chestnuts, and lime trees spotted the rolling green landscape of the Cowdrey estate in Midhurst.

However, because it’s technically private land, and clearly well maintained at that- I wasn’t comfortable collecting material for ink-making. I’m not sure what the rules are- but thought maybe if I sent an inquiry ahead of my visit, it would’ve been fine. It’s a funny thing- access to land and something I need to think about with this project.

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