A FINAL year student has held a funeral for an ancient tree in the New Forest.

The funeral was part of 22-year-old Megan Thomas' final year project.

Megan has spent her last term based at the ArtSway gallery in the New Forest and it was during this time she was inspired to focus her third year show piece on an oak tree which is believed to be 230 years old.

"During my time in the New Forest I was completely overwhelmed by the incredible surroundings," added Arts University Bournemouth student Megan, who named the tree 98327.

"Unfortunately as humans we have interfered with the natural world so much that much of it is dying.

"The funeral was supposed to be a celebration of the ancient tree and all others in the world like it."

Megan's final project will be available to view at the university's summer show in June.

Her piece comes under the genre of installation art and includes a video of the funeral and the obituary she has written for the tree and will be shown alongside more of Megan's work from this year.

 The obituary tells the history of the tree, which first leafed in 1786, and how it had survived nine British Monarchs and two wars.

It reads: "This immensely old tree was full of character and loved being at one with the natural world, until the entire country, including the forest, was called to war.

"98327 lay witness to two world wars, which claimed the lives of around 2,000 acres of broadleaved timber woodland.

"During WW2, 98327’s elders and peers were felled and burned in order to provide the essential charcoal absorbers in around 40-million gas masks and to supplement timber stocks depleted as a consequence of the impact of the War on Britain’s ability to import from other countries.

"Despite these incredible tales of hardship and sacrifice 98327 never lost its love for life.

"This tenacious attribute is recognized through its commendable endurance and most importantly its survival, which is an inconceivable concept when compared to the fast paced world surrounding it."

According to Megan 98327 is survived by another oak tree in the Scottish Highlands which was planted in loving memory, by the Trees for Life Conservation Charity.

The Arts University Bournemouth Fine Art Degree Show takes place at the campus in Wallisdown from Thursday, June 16 until Friday, June 24.

During the opening night there will also be a minute’s silence being held for 98327 that the audience is asked to respectfully take part in.