Work underway to turn 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree into 'iconic spectacle'

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

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A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table.

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

The Fenland Black Oak Project gathered at G's in Barway this morning (July 24) to transport the planks of wood to Stratford ready for construction.

They were removed from the drying kiln and loaded onto a HGV.

It is hoped that it will be turned into a "stunning visual spectacle" to take pride of place in Ely Cathedral for an 18-month residency.

Campaigners have worked tirelessly to preserve the tree since it was found in the Fen peat of Southery seven years ago.

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

Craftsmen and students from the The Building Crafts College will now spend three weeks constructing the table top.

The construction is expected to take several months but exhibition spaces are already being sought after it completes it residency in Ely.

A spokesperson from The Fenland Black Oak Project said: "This will be an extremely visual spectacle - nothing like it has been seen before and nothing like it will be seen again.

"With Black Oak 'finds' dwindling fast this is, almost certainly, the last of these gigantic, ancient trees that will be preserved - and with it the story of East Anglia 5,000 years ago."

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

The 13.2 metre long plank of Fenland Black Oak, dated to around 3,300 BC, is the biggest example of an ancient sub-fossilised Black Oak ever discovered.

The 5,000-year-old section of tree trunk had crashed to the ground and buried itself into the peat below when the Fens flooded in 2012.

Open workshop events will be held during the construction process at The Building Crafts College on Wednesday August 7 10am to 4pm, Thursday August 8 5pm to 9pm and Saturday August 10 10am to 4pm.

Visitors will be able to see the boards via a viewing gallery above the joinery workshop at the college.

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

There will be opportunities to film, photograph, meet the craftsmen and even touch the preserved boards.

If you would like to attend email thefenlandblackoakproject@gmail.com or visit www.thefenlandblackoakproject.co.uk for more information and to support the project.

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

A 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSEA 5,000-year-old fossilised oak tree discovered near Ely in 2012 is on its way to London to be transformed into an iconic table. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

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