Saturday, February 25, 2012

Forest of Dean

All the morning at the office. At noon with Mr. Moore to the Coffee-house, where among other things the great talk was of the effects of this late great wind; and I heard one say that he had five great trees standing together blown down; and, beginning to lop them, one of them, as soon as the lops were cut off, did, by the weight of the root, rise again and fasten. We have letters from the forest of Deane, that above 1000 Oakes and as many beeches are blown down in one walk there. And letters from my father tell me of 20l. hurt done to us at Brampton….’

It must have been a mighty wind that felled so many trees, as Samuel Pepys reports in his diary.  The forest of Dean now comprises more than 42 square miles.  Walter Scott indicates that the forest was more severely impacted by mining, that by the wind storm, which occurred more than 100 years earlier.  From “The Betrothed”:

‘The trampling and galloping of horse was soon heard, announcing the approach of the patrol left by the Constable for the protection of the mansion, and who now, collecting from their different stations, came prepared to attend the Lady Eveline on her further road to Gloucester, great part of which lay through the extensive forest of Dean, then a sylvan region of large extent, though now much denuded of trees for the service of the iron mines…’

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