The vast girth of these trees is such that even the most committed hippy would struggle to hug. There is a feeling you can't see the wood for the trees because the enormity of each stump is breathtaking, making it easy to scale up the display to get a bigger picture of a living forest. By contrast, the fine detail of the root structure is mind-blowing, as it proves such minute root-tips can support such a gargantuan beast.
The unearthed roots are parked on plinths next to the evergreen Wellington Pine that sturdily carries traditional coloured lights at Christmas. This emphasises the dead nature of these exhibits, offering a reminder that extinction is a permanent status. The story is told of the Dodo, for example, and other, less fortunate species in the adjacent Natural History museum.
The bewitching quality of this collection displayed on blocks on the green outside the museum spells out the danger of working against nature. No one can walk by without walking through the collection of tree stumps. This is at least true during the late night, when I stop by and, ironically, it feels like a living museum.