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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

World’s Oldest Forest Discovered in England

top of a tree stump

borchee from Getty Images Signature

Cambridge University scientists have discovered a fossil forest in southwest England featuring plants with a woody root system and “twiglets” that are estimated to be 390 million years old. Their discovery was published in the Journal of the Geological Society. This forest is 4 million years older than an ancient forest discovered in 2019 in an abandoned quarry in Cairo, New York, and precedes dinosaurs by 150 million years. The oldest trees appeared approximately 500 million years ago, but it was the advent of forests that reduced global CO2 levels to near-modern levels, while supplying the Earth with oxygen, thus paving the way for more complex life forms.

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