• Pridie Tiernan

FAIRYTRAILS #8: Oak

Our eight element in this National Storytelling Week's outdoor storying challenge!


"Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut, that held its ground." - David Icke


Welcome to our 'Fairytrails' challenge! If you would like a quick outline of what this is all about, click here! If you're ready to go - let's do it!


Recognising the oak...

  • Oak can be BIG - up to 20–40m tall.

  • Hunt about on the ground to find its round-lobed leaves.

  • In winter you'll see its rounded buds in clusters and each bud has more than three scales.

  • Use Flora Incognita or the Woodland Trust app to help you be certain that what you are looking at is, in fact, an oak tree!


When you pop out for your walk and finally find your oak, you might be interested to know:


  • The oak was sacred in many mythologies - it's associated with Zeus (Greek), Jupiter (Roman) and the Dagda (Celtic). All of these gods controlled thunder and lightning and oak, often being the tallest tree, would be the one to be hit by lightening - perhaps this explains the association?!

  • The oak is also linked to the Druids and royalty with ancient kings wearing crowns made of oak leaves.

  • Couples use to be wed under ancient oaks.


Now's the time for a tale...

Click here to listen to the Beatrix Potter's story 'The Fairy in the Oak' and find out what happened to one little fairy and her great oak tree. I'll leave you to interpret the message in the story - my girls and I feel sad that the fairy loses her home, but we like the way the story ends!


Outdoor storying challenge #8:

OPTION 1: How about these trees in winter? Click here for the spotter sheet. (You should know several of these by now!)

OPTION 2: Can you spot these winter things? Click here for the Woodland Trust spotter sheet.


Bushcraft, podcasts and other things that might interest you...

  • Find out about the 'tick effect' and how it can indicate which way is south in large, solitary trees!

  • If you are feeling really ambitious, you might like to try making ink out of oak galls! Click here to find out how...


Happy outdoor storying y'all! Let us know how you get on!

Pridie, Elva & Adelind :)




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