Knightwood Oak. Project Day
Wed 14th September 2016 at 12.00 am -
Knightwood Oak. Project Day See our original 2004 project below.
KNIGHTWOOD OAK RESTORATION PROJECT 2016-09-15.
Henry VIII was here.... at the historic Knightwood Oak, on Bolderwood Ornamental Drive, in the New Forest, AND so was New Forest Rotary Club, in September 2016!
Henry reputedly visited when it was already 100 years old and quite a sight to see, even then. Over time this massive, 600 year old, ancient oak, was literally getting lost in the woods. So, New Forest Rotary took on a joint project with the Forestry Commission, in 2005, to make it more accessible to the public. This involved opening up the site, improving the car park, putting in new paths with ‘dancing oak leaf’ marker posts carved by Nicola Henshaw, interpretation boards, benches, picnic tables and a traditional cleft oak fence around the oak itself. All this to celebrate the centenary of Rotary International.
Eleven years of weathering, wear and tear later, the Club has returned with another joint Forestry Commission Project to restore the site, now one of the Forest’s top heritage visitor attractions. A Rotary team was on site on September 14thhard at work clearing dense undergrowth , self seeded birch, pine and bracken, obscuring views of the tree, repainting marker post direction signs, improving footpath access from the revamped car park and generally sprucing up the area. However, a number of trees were left alone. These were saplings, grown from the Knightwood Oak’s own acorns, so it now has a family and successors in decades to come.
The project day entailed a lot of hot, hard, physical work and some of the men were seen to be unbuttoning their shirts to reveal rippling muscles, thus providing real competition for a certain Mr Ross Poldark!
A cheque for £750 was presented by Philip Dinn, President of New Forest Rotary Club, to Richard Daponte, Forestry Commission Ranger and Project Leader, towards the total cost of the project including the installation of new, updated, interpretation boards.
The overall project was a good example of the community engagement the Forestry Commission encourages and the Rotary motto of “service above self”, meaning that Rotarians are willing to physically work on their projects not just make donations, important though they are.
The Knightwood Oak is a fine New Forest site to visit – why not drop in when you’re walking, cycling or driving by, to take a look or have a picnic?MIKE CLARKEOur Knightwood Oak Project work day, on site, will be Wednesday 14th September at 10 a.m.
Mike Clarke reports on the proposed work day:
ORIGINAL KNIGHTWOOD OAK PROJECT 2004
We were rightly proud of the original project which was visited by the Rotary GB&I President and our Local MP among others. SEE SOME PHOTOS OF THAT DAY AND A PRESS REPORT; CLICK HERE