11 November 2020
Students and staff enjoyed a great opportunity to step outside of the curriculum at lunchtime on Friday 6 November. English teacher Mr Roy Peachey gave a fascinating Thinking Big talk called “The hidden life of trees”. To an audience of Sixth Formers and staff in the auditorium, and others watching the livestream around the school, Mr Peachey showed that there is more to trees than meets the eye. Roots were at the heart of Mr Peachey’s talk. He explained how radiocarbon dating tree roots can provide the most accurate age of a tree; by producing multiple shoots, one quaking aspen in Utah has 40,000 trunks and covers an area of 100 acres; connected by fungi, roots enable trees to share nutrients. We also learnt how trees can communicate with one another, illustrated by the tale of the acacia and the giraffe.
Mr Peachey introduced his talk with a reminder of what’s at the heart of Woldingham’s Thinking Big talks, breaking through subject boundaries and sharing personal enthusiasms to evoke a sense of wonder in others. If you would like to watch the talk you can view it here.