Wandering the woods, as I am wont to do of a Sunday afternoon, I today discovered the felled remains of a wishing tree, that is, a tree with hundreds of coins embedded in its bark.
Found on woodland trails up and down the UK, the curious custom is the result of superstitious passer-bys who hammer the coins into the trunks with rocks, in the belief that it will bring them good fortune.
In many examples coins are present from centuries ago when it was believed that divine spirits lived within the trees who could be appeased by such offerings. In one wishing tree a florin dating from around the 14th century was found, whilst Queen Victoria wrote of a visit to a wishing tree in Scotland in 1877.
[Photos are mine]