The first photo is of the Common Beech Fagus sylvatica. The Common Beech is the dominant tree of woodlands in south and central England. It grows strongly on well-drained chalk soils found, for example, in The Chilterns. It does not like wet ground. It has been planted in woods, gardens and parks throughout Britain. Beech wood from The Chilterns was used as firewood for London, then when coal replaced it, for furniture. It is a large tree and can grow to 40m. In some years there is a huge crop of oil-rich beechnuts. These are known as ‘mast’ years where ‘mast’ is an old word for ‘fruit of the forest’. In former times pigs were fattened up on beechnuts and acorns prior to going to market. The second photo is of leaves of the Persian Ironwood Parrotia persica. The Persian Ironwood is a small deciduous tree native to northern Iran. It was introduced to Britain in 1841. It is related to the Witch-Hazel. Its wood is extremely hard, hence the name ironwood. It has red flowers, which appear before the leaves in late winter. The leaves turn bright red in autumn. It is frequently found in parks and collections, often as a large shrub, selected for its superb autumn colours.