The Ancestor's Trail is an annual biological pilgrimage combining walking, evolution and art. Based on Richard Dawkins' book 'The Ancestor's Tale', the Trail guides its walkers along a time line from the present day back 3.8 billion years to the origins of life.
The event celebrates 'our place' within the biodiversity machine we call evolution. The Trail is made up of several walks of varying lengths, located in Epping Forrest, London. Each of the main trails are guided and start at a train or tube station. As we walk we will slowly join together as our evolutionary histories combine and we all finish together at Cheshunt.
The walking pace for the trails is expected to average 15 minutes/km. For the longer trails we recommend that you bring a light lunch for picnicking. The Human, New World Monkey and Gazelle Trails join up before the lunch time refreshment stop (20mins).
The four-and-a-half mile Bacteria Trail is suitable for wheelchair users. The other main trails are the Amphibian and Plant Trails. The Bird and Fish Trails are minor un-marshalled trails for the more adventurous. The Chimpanzee Trail is for those who are only a little bit adventurous! Trails with solid lines will be marshalled. Departure times for the main trails are shown and all are planned to meet at Cheshunt YHA at 4.30pm.
After the walk there will be a celebration at Cheshunt YHA. This celebration will carry on into the night with an evening meal and entertainment.
Those who wish can also stay the night at the YHA.
On Sunday morning there will be breakfast followed by a series of talks from invited speakers on aspects of evolution.
The after walk activities help us keep the trail free. Please consider joining us after the walks.
Information on booking the entertainment and the YHA will be shown after you register.
Register – it's free!
We will then keep you informed about the 2015 trail.
Register - it' s free!
Videos of previous trails:
What to know more about evolution and the tree of life?
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 (concestors) along the way until we get back to the beginnings of life itself,
The One Zoom website 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.