Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s smallest nature reserve happens to consist of just one very old ‘tree’, though perhaps bush would be a better description! At 0.025 hectares, it is the smallest Wildlife Trust nature reserve in the country.
Hethel Old Thorn is located beside a picturesque church. The tiny reserve is one of the smallest in the UK.
The Old Thorn
The eponymous thorn itself is thought to be one of the most ancient hawthorns in England, possibly dating from the Thirteenth Century. In 1755 its girth was recorded as 9 feet 1 inch, but it has now decayed to a remnant of its former self. Even so, there is still something very appealing about this venerable shrub, which continues to grow each year and remains healthy. Superstition has it that the hawthorn grew from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea – a folk tale associated with other thorns around the country including at Glastonbury.