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21 May 2024

Landscape History and Woodland Ecology with Oliver Rackham Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th April 2014.


Saturday April 19th  Lyon’s Gate, Dogbury, the Saxon perambulation of Buckland Newton, Clinger Deer Park, Minterne Magna and Minterne Parva, Middlemarsh and the ‘Fox’ Oak.

Sunday April 20th Stock Gaylard House and Deerpark: veteran oaks and parkland, ancient woodland and plantations, wild service trees, commons with relics of commoners’ dwellings, abandoned medieval settlement.

At this time the woodland flora should be almost at its best but the earthworks, enclosures, ancient trees and other historic features will not yet have become concealed by foliage. The plan is to begin each day at 9.30am with a short introduction indoors, followed by an exploration of two areas on foot, working with ancient maps and historic documents. The cost of each of these days will be £50. The minimum number for each day will be 6 people, so if you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible and I will send you further information. Prior knowledge is not necessary, just enthusiasm for this subject. An awareness of landscape history adds a whole extra dimension to one’s appreciation of the world around us!

Postscript: this weekend was a great success, with a full house on both days. The weather was fairly kind to us though the rain drove us in on the Sunday afternoon but we were able to enjoy a presentation on ancient trees while drinking tea and eating simnel cake in Stock Gaylard House (for which we are very grateful to Andrew and Josie Langmead).

Another weekend is planned for the autumn.   The image below shows the ancient  ‘Fox’ oak in Middlemarsh, thought to be 1000 years old.