The Birnam Oak

This Perthshire oak tree is several centuries old and thought to be the last survivor of the ancient medieval oakwood mentioned in Macbeth. It is believed Shakespeare was inspired when he visited the area in 1599 as part of a troupe of travelling players. In the play, the witch tells Macbeth he will remain King until Birnam wood comes to his castle at Dunsinane. This sounded an unlikely eventuality until an attacking army camouflaged itself with branches from the great wood.

The oak has been in the wars again recently enduring flooding in the wake of Storm Desmond. It had some branches removed earlier this year but needs more work. A coalition of local conservationists is campaigning to secure its future.

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