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Holly: Merry berries & mistle thrushes deck our true native Christmas tree

Season 3, Ep. 41

Our fifty-sixth (and final!) tree, Holly (Ilex aquifolium). Released to coincide with the Winter Solstice, aka the end of the rule of the Holly King, this episode celebrates a tree that is rooted in the winter celebrations of Celts, Romans, Christians, and even Cretaceous Dinosaurs! For centuries it has also fed the cattle that feeds us, it has supported generations of over-wintering birds (such as the greedy Mistle Thrush) and it has kept Goblins, Witches and arson-obsessed Cumbrian villagers at bay. Illuminated by the words of Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Robert Southey and a whole collective known of historical botanists, this episode celebrates one of our undeniably great trees. There is also a VERY special Christmas present to you all, courtesy of the stunning Leisure Society. (Special thanks to Richard Hollis and Holly Newell for adding their voices, and to Bella Hardy and the Leisure Society for their musical meliflosities.) More from David Oakes as he uproots the secrets and stories beneath the 56(ish) Native Trees of the British Isles can be found at: https://www.treesacrowd.fm/56Trees/

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