Largest tree hug: Forestry Commission England sets world record (HD Video)
Delamere Forest, UK -- 702 tree huggers came to hug a tree for 1 minute
at Delamere Forest in Cheshire during the Forestry Commission's celebrations of the UN's International Year of Forests - setting the new world record for the Largest tree hug, according to World Record Academy (www.worldrecordacademy.com).
The Guinness world record for the longest hug lasted 24 hr 33 min and was achieved by Ron O'Neil and Theresa Kerr (both Canada) at Centennail Beach in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest group hug, which consisted of 10,554 people in an event organized by Bear Hug III (Canada) at the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
702 tree huggers joined forces on the day eager to set a new record, with participants gathered from as far afield as mainland Europe to join in the event and share the excitement.
The world record attempt was organised as part of the Forestry Commission's celebrations of the UN's International Year of Forests.
The Forest Discovery Day took place simultaneously at 28 of our major sites, with a host of different events taking place across England.
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.
Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair said: "I am really delighted that we've achieved the world record. The tree hug was a fun way for people to get involved with us and share their love for trees and the environment."
Forestry Commission sites that took part in the Forest Discovery Day include: Alice Holt, Bedgebury Pinetum, Bellever, Cannock Chase, Cardinham Woods, Chopwell Wood, Dalby Forest, Delamere, Fineshade Woods, Forest of Dean, Grizedale, Guisborough Forest, Haldon Forest Park, Hamsterley, High Lodge Thetford Forest, Jeskyns, Kielder, Moors Valley Country Park, New Forest, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Rendlesham Forest, Salcey Forest, Sherwood Pines, Thetford, Wendover Woods, Westonbirt Arboretum, Whinlatter, Wooler Northumberland, Wyre Forest.
Josephine Melville-Smith, Marketing Manager, Forestry Commission England, added; "Congratulations and huge thanks go to all the people who turned up to enjoy the day and share the incredible experience of setting a world record. It was absolutely overwhelming to to see so many people hugging the trees at Delamere Forest at the same time!"
Tree hugging is not a new idea. It became famous in the 1970's after women in a village in India used the symbolic gesture to protect local trees.
In America, The Hug-A-Tree program was started in 1981, after the search for nine-year-old Jimmy Beveridge in southern California, according to the National Association for Search & Rescue's website, www.nasar.org.
The nationwide program was established to educate children about basic survival principles if they get lost in the woods, according to NASAR.
The Guinnness World Record rules stated that participants needed to hug a tree for 1 minute and 702 people were duly recorded.
Julie Mogan from DTM Legal who verified the attempt said; "It was great to be involved in such a fun day and to see everyone from very young children to grand parents cheering when the attempt was over was just incredible."