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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 09:06 GMT 10:06 UK
Rare tree makes roots at castle
Clitheroe Castle - picture courtesy of Lancashire County Council
Clitheroe Castle is one of a handful of selected sites
A rare species of tree dating back millions of years is putting down its roots in Lancashire.

Gardeners at Clitheroe Castle will be planting a cutting from the ancient Wollemi pine, after being chosen as one of a handful of selected UK sites.

The tree was thought to have disappeared completely until a lone specimen was found in Australia.

Cuttings are now being nurtured at centres across the world - including Kew Gardens in London.

Some of the cuttings are to be auctioned to raise money for international tree preservation projects.

Wollemi pine
The Wollemi pine dates back to the Jurassic period

Ribble Valley Borough Council's countryside officer, David Hewitt, said: "The Wollemi Pine is now part of a worldwide conservation programme after being discovered in Australia.

"I have registered my interest in obtaining a specimen for inclusion in the tree trail in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle and hope to obtain it by next April."

The Wollemi was thought to have been extinct for 200 million years when it was found near Sydney.

It is thought the pines populated the ancient super continent Gondwana when dinosaurs walked the Earth.

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