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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

And about 26 in the Vallets


will require to be filled up

as soon as there is a stock of plants sufficient for the purpose. Russell's Enclosure is left to nature: only 10,000 Spanish chesnuts have been planted in it, and some young oaks from the Acorn Patch at the north end. There is a good deal of large timber over the whole, particularly the south and centre parts, and a vast quantity of natural young oaks sprung up in the neighbourhood of the large trees. The fern has been cut to relieve and encourage them for the last three years. The Lea Bailey Copse (north) consists of young copsewood well stored with oaks, growing on their own butts. The Lea Bailey Copse (south) has more large timber in it: this has not been regularly planted, but some trees have been transplanted from the thick parts of the north copse, and from the woodmen's nurseries. The lower Lea Bailey Enclosure has a considerable quantity of growing timber in it, and a large quantity of young oaks springing up. No planting has been done here. The fencing round these consists of a large ditch and bank, and a dead hedge at top, with hawthorn-quick planted within. The hedge having stood three years is decayed, and another will be required this year, which it is expected will last until the quick becomes a fence. The addition to the Buckholt of about fifteen acres was planted with 3 years old oaks from the woodmen's nurseries, and looks very thriving. All the other enclosures were
planted with seedlings and tenth trees, according to the second agreement with Mr. Driver, in 1812, 13, 14, and 15, and are this year looking very well. Parts of all the enclosures will require mending over, but I should think more than half are sufficiently stocked with oaks well established, and that will require no further attention until they want thinning. On the high land of Haywood, Edge Hills, and Ruerdean Hill, firs and a mixture of other trees have been planted, and are thriving and growing fast, particularly on Ruerdean Hill, where the Scotch and larch take the lead. Firs, &c., have also been planted in the wet and bad parts of most of the other enclosures, and succeed. The nurseries we have in cultivation are the Bourts, 161 acres; Yew-tree Brake, about 5 acres; Ell Wood, 11 acres; and about 26 in the Vallets, or middle, and Sallow Vallets Nurseries, previously occupied by Mr. Driver. In these there are now about four millions of young oaks, three, two, and one year old, and about 600,000 firs and other trees of different sorts. The plants in Whitemead Park are thriving very well in all parts which are situated at a distance from the brook, but near to it they are very thin, stunted, and unhealthy, and are constantly killed down by spring frosts. Ash and fir trees have been planted amongst them, but with little success at present. The principal part of the large timber now in the Forest is about Park End, on Church Hill, Ivy More Head, Russell's Enclosure, Park End Lodge Hill, and at the Lea Bailey. That at the Bailey appears younger, and some of it shook by frost, and rather drawn up by standing too thick. The timber about Park End is very fine, and I should suppose from 150 to 200 years old. There is a considerable quantity of young oak, from 15 to 40 years old, about Tanner's Hill, &c., near Gun's Mills, on the outside of Edge Hill Enclosure, and some within it in the lower part. Chesnuts Enclosure is covered with hazel, that was cut down when the oak was planted, and is now growing up with the young oaks and chesnuts, both of which are more rapidly growing in this enclosure than in any other; a double quantity of chesnuts are planted in this enclosure. There are scarcely any natural trees in the Forest but oak and beech; birch springs up spontaneously in every enclosure, and overruns the whole Forest. The few ash trees look scrubbed and unthrifty. Since the year 1809, 14,260 oak trees containing 14,546 loads of timber have been felled, viz. 11,322 trees for the navy, and 2,938 sold by auction. About 50 trees, containing about 50 loads, have been blown down or stolen."


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