Hatfield Forest & Hatfield Broad Oak

This is one of my favourite trees, an ancient Hornbeam pollard at Bush End Plain, an area of wood pasture in Hatfield Forest. This place has been grazed by cattle and sheep for at least 1000 years, and these trees pollarded to keep their green shoots out of reach of grazing livestock. There are also deer here and Oliver Rackham has called this The Last Forest because it is the only surviving example of a Royal Medieval Hunting Forest, meaning forest as a place where the monarch had the right to keep deer and to kill and eat them. This maintained environment has been shaped with rides, chases and woodland by continuous managed development over the past millenium. Continue reading “Hatfield Forest & Hatfield Broad Oak”

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