Giants have been part of Britain’s national consciousness ever since we had a national consciousness.
The yew trees of Kingley Vale comprise the most extensive yew forest in Britain and perhaps in all of Europe. Nestled in a cleft of the South Downs not far from Chichester, the site was declared the UK’s first National Nature Reserve in 1952.
It’s an aspect of the modern condition: most of us see more creatures on television than we do in the wild. Beauty and strangeness are translated into waveforms and pixels and then into a simulacrum. Not all of the beauty and strangeness is lost, however, and nor is the sense of relatedness, perhaps even kinship.