Thursday 21st September 2017 - David Humphries, Trees Management Officer - City of London Corporation Open Spaces

Members of the LTOA spent a very informative and enjoyable day out amongst the treescape of the New Forest hosted by Barrell Tree Consultancy.

After introductions and refreshments at the Barrell HQ we were transferred via coach to our first port of call on the itinerary which was the beautiful Saxon church of St Nicholas, Brockenhurst.

The group were greeted and entertained by local tree experts including Bryan Wilson, a retired tree officer from Kensington & Chelsea, who informed us of the church’s history being the oldest in the New Forest. However the church is not quite as old as the impressive great Yew which sits adjacent to it. This tree was carbon dated during the 1980’s to approximately 1000 years old and has a girth of 7m.

We were then taken on a Tall Tree Walk at Bolderwood to experience the majesty of the Douglas firs and Redwoods

As well as the fine array of trees, we made note of many coniferous associated fungi including Sparassis, and Ischnoderma. It was then on to see the Knightwood oak, which is recorded as the largest oak in the forest and is a fine example of an ancient pollarded tree with a girth of 7.4m.

On the journey back to the office for lunch, Jeremy Barrell gave a short presentation on managing trees on development sites.

He went on to discuss the importance of good practice in dealing with tree protection during the entire pre, during and post construction & development process.

We each were provided with an informative and well produced guidance note from Barrell Tree Care which includes Q-codes at the back, which link to pdf downloads for individual Guidance Notes.

After lunch we had a good leg stretch across the heather landscape, to Ridley Wood near Burley, to a (non-intervention) beech and oak woodland where the Forestry Commission have left trees to grow and fall apart naturally.

The woodland had an ancient feel and was full of dead, dysfunctional wood volumes which provides valuable habitat features and hosted a wide variety of interesting mycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungi including Amanita, Boletus, Daedalea and the rarely recorded red banded polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola), a highlight for the fungi geek(s) amongst the group.

The field trip was yet another great LTOA opportunity to network and see different aspects of tree management away from the capital. A valuable experience had by all.

We would like to thank Barrell Tree Consultancy for hosting, James Hillier for providing lunch and Becky Porter for organising the day.

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