Walking the Ancestor’s Trail

Ancestor_s_TrailSo yesterday was finally the day to walk the Ancestors Trail, a walk that is not just a walk, but an annual biological pilgrimage through Epping forest and the Lee valley that combines walking, evolution and art. As you proceed, each step takes you back in time to the origins of life and so step by step covers 3.8 billion years. It worked like this, there were various trails that you could pick, and then as you set off, the timing was such that you would meet up with walkers doing other trails until you all finally converged at the origin of life, and that is impressive, because it took a lot of work to get the timing correct, and hey, they cracked it …

As we proceeded, there would be regular stops where we were given a small talk, or poetry, or some drama to illustrate the moment of time we were in, and organising that also takes a lot of time.

The end of the walk was also not the end, because once we arrived at the Youth Hostel, refreshments were waiting, and then for those that wanted it, you could stay for a meal, the evening entertainment, or even the night and listen to the lectures the next day.

OK, I made a slight mistake, I picked the Human Trail and for some reason got it into my head that it was a 12Km walk and so set up with provisions for a 12Km walk. Soon the penny dropped, this was not a 12Km walk, but rather a 12 mile walk … oops. Not really a problem for me, but I did have my daughter with me. All was fine, she did well and walked the 3.8 billion years without any problem.

So without any further babbling, here is a small selection of pictures I took during the day …


The following links have been shamelessly stolen directly from the Ancestors Trail website …

Richard Dawkins’ book The Ancestor’s Tale, on which our trail is based, takes us on a journey back through time meeting up with our increasingly distant common ancestors.

The One Zoom allows you to explore the tree of life in a completely new way: like a map, everything is on one page, all you have to do is zoom in and out.

Stated Clearly explains the theory of evolution through animations and writings in clear language that anyone can understand.


See if you can find humans on OneZoom’s tree of life

1 thought on “Walking the Ancestor’s Trail”

Leave a Comment

Exit mobile version