Monday, April 09, 2007

How the naked lady of the woods stopped the bulldozers in their tracks

Like the hundreds of thousands of other trees being cut down to make way for the £371million road tunnel, the ancient beech was destined for the chop.

That was until foresters pointed out the wartime carving of the naked woman and the inscription etched on the trunk.

Now the Highways Agency has agreed to alter the path of the tunnel to keep the lady in her place.

Naked woman

After discussions with conservationists, they shifted the boundary slightly so the tree remains untouched.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "It's an interesting little piece of history and we have managed to amend the boundary so that the tree can stay."

Although Forestry Commission rangers had known about the tree for many years, they kept it a secret because they did not want it attacked by vandals.

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