Thursday, 2 May 2013

Ominous omen?

You can see North Berwick Law from all over East Lothian.  I think you can even see it from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but if not it is definitely visible from Arthur's Seat.  Inevitably it will pop up from time to time in my photographs taken locally.  

To the east side of the Law there is a dwindling stand of beech trees.  These are the Act of Union Beech Trees, planted by Sir Hew Dalrymple, Lord North Berwick (1652–1737) to commemorate the Act of Union between the Scots and English Parliaments in 1707.  
I can't find any record of how many trees were planted originally but now only five remain.  The sixth came down in a recent gale.
It's sad to see a wonderful tree which will have witnessed so much over so many years, lying smashed on the ground.  

The trees are planted on the east side of the Law, looking out to sea and where they are exposed to some ferocious weather.  They have a prime view of the Bass Rock, which is another iconic feature in the East Lothian landscape.
There is a legend that if anyone fells the trees the union between Scotland and England will be broken.  With only five trees left, one does wonder - a bit.

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