Judges plant Booker Dozen
Judges of one of the literary world's top awards swapped their books for Wellington boots and spades to help plant trees in Leicestershire.
Members of the 2012 Man Booker Prize judging panel reunited in Normanton le Heath, near Coalville, to show their support for the Woodland Trust's Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Wood project, which was launched by Princess Anne in June.
Times Literary Supplement editor Sir Peter Stothard, who chaired the panel, was joined by academic Dinah Birch, historian and broadcaster Amanda Foreman and writer Bharat Tandon.
Together they planted 12 saplings – christened the Booker Dozen – as a living commemoration of the 12 titles long-listed for last year's prize.
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They will be among more than 30,000 trees being planted at the 460-acre site over three years.
The event was organised as part of a collaboration between the Man Booker prize and the Woodland Trust – and as a symbolic gesture to compensate for the trees felled to produce the hundred-plus books submitted for the prize each year.
Ion Trewin, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, who gave the four judges a hand, said: "Symbolic they might be, but each year's grove of trees is living testimony to the Man Booker prize and the great fiction chosen annually by our judges." Woodland Trust spokeswoman Laura Judson said: "Our partnership with Man Booker helps us highlight the need to sustain our native woods."
Leicestershire author Alison Moore was a contender for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for her debut novel, The Lighthouse.
Hilary Mantel won the award for her historical novel, Bring Up the Bodies.