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The Whomping Willow
Easily accessible from several parking areas nearby.
The Whomping Willow isn't a willow. Its an ancient beech tree in Frithsden Beeches which has starred in several films and TV programmes.
The tree is most famous for being the 'Whomping Willow' in the Harry Potter films. During 2004 a film crew spent 2 weeks at the site. It has also appeared in 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' and an episode of Jonathan Creek.
There was another film crew there a few weeks ago (March 2012).
This particular tree has evolved due to pollarding, a form of woodland management where the branches were regularly cut from the trees to use as firewood. Branches would be cut from the trunk to around a metre or so off the ground and this would then allow new branches to grow unchecked by browsing animals such as deer, before the process was repeated. It is thought this tree could be up to 800 years old.
The beech trees have not been pollarded for more than 100 years but are now managed purely for conservation and safety.
The tree itself is visited a lot and climbed on so the cache is hidden very close by. Pay attention to the National Trust signs, you only have to look around to see the shed branches of these very old trees.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum