By Shannon Lane @Shannonroselane

SPANNING across 400 acres in West Sussex are some of the oldest living things in Britain

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The meadows are spread with bluebells

In the Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve are the ancient, twisted yews dating back 2,000 years.

Resembling an enchanted forest the trees branches have grown into one another over hundreds of years.

Ancient trees in the reserve have grown out of control

Other tree species in the park include oak, ash, holly and hawthorn.

The reserve resembles an enchanted forest

The elderly Kingley Vale yews are one of the few major stands remaining in Europe, after most were felled in the 14th century for English longbows.

A wooden sculpture at Kingley Vale
It is one of the greatest collections of yews in Europe

In 1472 the English government enforced a “yew tax” of four “bowestaffs” of every cask of wine unloaded at an English harbour.

An old yew tree pictured at Kingley Vale
Old yew trees entwine into one another

This incentive sparked a rush for ancient yew trees across Europe, destroying the forests, making Kingley Vale Reserve one of Europe's most impressive yew forests.

What also makes the nature reserve unique is the diverse and interesting heritage linking to the bronze and iron age and the remains of a Romano-Celtic temple.