28th October 2016 Visit to the Forestry Commission at Staple Park and Wych Lodge

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Devon Ancient Tree Forum

28th October 2016

Visit to the Forestry Commission at Staple Park and Wych Lodge

This visit is to the Neroche forest. Originally on the western edge of the Royal hunting forest of Neroche the land was sold to become part of the Orchard Portman estate in 1627 which then passed to the Forestry Commission in 1947 following crippling death duties.

The land is composed of scattered blocks of ancient woodland, deer parks and ancient field systems, the landscape is rich in veteran and ancient trees, this visit will take in a few of the more impressive trees.
10.45 Gather at Staple Park
11.00 Visit the Staple Park Oaks which are on the edge of what is thought to be an old Deer Park, they have survived the establishment of a conifer plantation which is now slowly being removed in a series of halo thinning. Compare these trees with those of a similar age which have grown in the open fields adjacent.

1.00 Return to vehicles and travel a short distance to start of afternoon visit where packed lunch can be eaten around the lake at Wych Lodge.
2.00 Afternoon session starts to visit the giant Piddle Oaks, a collection of ancient Oaks. These were pollarded at some point in distant history and would have been managed as part of a pasture woodland but are now ‘forgotten’ giants lurking in the depths of the wood

        Walking is moderately difficult and will involve walking through woodland (not on established tracks), crossing streams, and negotiating slopes which can be slippery after rain.

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