Updated 29 Oct 2003

Planting a new oakwood in Dorset

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Sketch of proposed new Oak wood at Bear Mead.

Aerial photo taken 2000
Sketch of field as Nov 2003
Bear Mead Field #5

Field #5 lies on the flood-plain of the River Stour in Dorset about 200 metres South of the river. This and surrounding fields have been run as pasture or meadow for centuries, a heavy crop being available in July. In the last winter the field flooded to a depth of about 0.3 metres four times.

300 Quercus robur saplings in 10 litre pots in the Nursery are ready to plant in the field. All were collected as acorns from the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, 225 in the year 2000, 75 in 2002. Size varies from 0.3 m to 1.1 m tall. A spacing of 10 metres is suggested, planting rank-and-file requires 184. It is proposed to plant out the largest 100 within the deer-fence in February 2004, the next 100 in 2005, leaving the final 100 as spares. The perimeter deer-fence is necessary because of roe-deer found all year in moderate numbers.

Field Area
=313x82=25,666 sq m
=2.57 hect=6.34 acres

Deer-fenced Area
=276x74=20,327 sq m
=2.03 hect=5.0 acres

Nursery Area
=36.5x9=328.5 sq m

Diameter=11 metres
Depth=2 metres
Supplies 300+litres per day.

Water Table
=1.5 m down, 0.5 m deep
Oct 03 (after 8 months drought)

790 metres total
Ash (32), Oak (3)
Hawthorn, Blackthorn

Enlarged sketch of the oakwood layout.
Sketch of oak wood in 100 years (hey, I can't draw!).

Encoded and copyright © 2003, John Palmer, All Rights Reserved.