On a bright, sunny but chilly, morning in early February, a small group
of us set off to walk to the Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede in order to see
the fabled carpet of snowdrops surrounding the tree. Although it is a
flat and easy walk from the NT car park, it was not without it’s
challenges – firstly we were met with a new sign on the first gate: Bull
in Field, well having scanned the field we saw no sign of any livestock
so bravely ventured forth! The next challenge was very real – the mud by
the second and third gates, the cows had chewed up the mud into a welly
deep,slippery mess. We really thought we were going to get sucked into
it and lose our wellies or fall over, however, we struggled on through
gales of laughter – which didn’t help! We did meet one gentleman who
had fallen in the mud but said it was worth it it see the snowdrops.
The Ankerwyke Yew is famous as the trysting place of Henry 8th and Ann
Boleyn, the tree is at least 2,500 years old and possibly witnessed the
signing of the Magna Carta as there was a Priory nearby (now in ruins)
which may well have housed the scribes who drew up the document. Thesunshine, pure white flowers against the deep green of the yew.
We walked back over the fields to the lane in order to avoid the mud and
then went for a well-earned bowl of soup at the Magna Carta Tearooms,
agreeing that it had been a worthwhile morning out!