AN ANCIENT tree in a Monmouthshire nature reserve has been given a royal honour as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The Small Leafed Lime tree, which is located at Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Prisk Wood Nature Reserve in the Wye Valley, is part of a network of 70 ancient trees and woodlands dedicated to the Queen..

Unveiled by Prince Charles, who is a Patron of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), the chosen locations reflect a range of themes - royalty, history, children, education, literature/creative arts, science, conservation, communities, health, and wellbeing.

In the case of the ancient Small Leafed Lime tree, Limes were favoured in the Wye Valley due to their fibrous bark’s utility in rope-making and Prisk Wood is home to this spectacular example of an ancient, multi-stemmed Small Leaved Lime.

South Wales Argus: (Picture: Mark Zytynski)(Picture: Mark Zytynski)

At first sight the trunks appear to be separate trees, but it is in fact all one individual. The huge tree which sits above the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Penallt, near Trellech, is believed to be at least 300 years old.

The tree plays a part in the ancient woodland life at the Gwent Wildlife Trust managed Prisk Wood Nature Reserve..

Its pollarded limbs and crown produce many flowers for bees and other pollinators. It's also a place of rest and retreat for rare wildlife like dormice, and a food source for others including great spotted woodpeckers.

The Ancient Tree dedication marks the start of a long-term project to propagate material to ensure that the genetic resource and unique characteristics of some of the UK’s most important trees is preserved.