Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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The Cyril Hart Arboretum

Autumn Leaves

The arboretum is named after local historian and forestry expert, Dr Cyril Hart. The collection started in 1910 and contains over 400 trees.

It is situated on the B4226 Coleford to Cinderford road close to the Speech House.

OS Grid Reference: SO624118

Volunteers meet at the Arboretum on the first Thursday of every month at 10am


We have done over 6 years of work at the Arboretum (October) and have made real progress

To see the pictures from 2009 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2010 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2011 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2012 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2013 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2014 - Click here

To see the pictures from 2015 - Click here


Volunteer Group Diary



15 December 2016

Our usual first Thursday of this month was taken up by the volunteers trip to Westonbirst Arboretum which you can see by clicking here.

So the team went for a day later in the month and we just tidied up the fallen branches and burnt a lot of the bramble. We had a wood burning camping stove to try out which worked really well as one of the team brought a bottle of mulled wine with him which was heated by pouring the wine in the outer layer - only two minutes and it was hot and scrumptious!



3 November 2016

We worked at the soggy patches which are obvious towards the east in the Arboretum. We dug out the worst of the mud and laid gravel in it. Come the spring, we will cover them with topsoil and sow grass over them. We also carried on clearing oak saplings, bramble and scrub around some of the trees.




6 October 2016

After all the work getting the Arboretum tidied up for the centenary in the last few months, it was pleasant to have a relaxing day with a good bonfire to remove the fallen branches as Autumn is on it's way..... We erected a low enclosure around the Cedar of Lebanon which was planted last month.




17 September 2016 - 100 Years!

Today was the 100th Anniversary day for our Arboretum and was marked by a special occasion to celebrate this fact.

Click HERE to see the story




1 and 2 September 2016

We spent two days at the Arboretum in preparation for the centenary later this month. Our main task was ro re-label the trees which meant a lot of screwing the labels on using plastic screws which would not harm the trees. The old label posts were removed which had stood by some trees as these caused a hindrance to the grass cutter. We also painted teak oil onto the sun dial and continued to polish the brasses as well as doing general weeding around the small enclosures.



The ancient Redwood tree trunk has been rotting away for over 20 years and was extremely wobbly so it was decided that it needed to be pulled over as it was a hazard. Two younger members of the team ably assisted in this!


4 August 2016

There was a great deal of tidying up to do - the FC truck made numerous trips to cart away all the fallen and cut branches into the forest as we decided that there was too much to burn. Over the last month, the grass seeding where we had put the topsoil has already grown, the weed spraying around the trees has had a remarkable effect and the tree trunks have been removed.



We also polished the brasses at the sundial and the hour numbers can now be clearly seen.



7 July 2016

Just inside the main gate was a massive pile of topsoil! Yes - it was going to be our job to move this! The area to the left of the gate in the Arboretum has some very soggy patches so the topsoil was used to fill them up and then grass seed was sown and the patches were taped off to prevent people from walking on them until the grass had grown.



We used the back of the FC truck to move the topsoil although we did start the day without any spades and had to find some in the DGT shed. The men did a magnificent job.



Break time was much appreciated. A couple of us cleared the long grass growing inside the netting which was protecting the younger trees. We also had FC apprentices strimming around the older trees and felling a few larger trees to open up the canopy.


This is a stone fossil which has been donated to the Arboretum. The question is - we think it is a fossil of the bark of a Monkey Puzzle tree but we are not sure - does anyone know?



9 June 2016

There was a lot going on today in the Arboretum! We split up into small groups and we had the apprentices with us to strim and mow the weeds. A tractor will come in soon to mow the main areas of grass now that the bluebells are nearly over.


This is our 'Mighty Muscles' and, yes. he is showing off and soon dropped the log! A very large tree branch had fallen with the weight of it's foliage so the debris was all taken away into the forest. (no fires today - it was far too dry for safety!)



We reconstructed the climbing frame for a Wild Dog Rose so that it could climb up through the neighbouring tree.



This is a new little enclosure being built around a precious tree!

It is a Japanese Hornbeam which was germinated at Kew Gardens from seeds found in Japan. Then it was nurtured by Westonbirt Arboretum before they kindly donated it to the Cyril Hart Arboretum.




5 May 2016

We had a busy time in the Arboretum today. A contractor came with a large stump grinder which was remote controlled and he took down many of the tree stumps dotted around the grassy areas which will allow the cutting of the grass without any hindrances. We took down the last of the small wooden enclosures as the trees are mature enough to grow there now. We removed a dead tree and we burnt the fallen branches. Did you know? - the carbon output from burning the branches is the same equivalent as the carbon outlet from rotting branches!

The children are being instructed on the correct way to start a fire!




3 March 2016

We used the same fire spot to burn off the wind blown branches over the last month. There were many small branches spread around the Arboretum but it is quite a satisfying job wandering around and picking them up in the sunshine! We also did some repairs to the little tree enclosures and spread the mulch around the young saplings.




4 February 2016

The photo this month looks very similar to last month! This is because we used the same fire site to burn off the fallen branches and debris in the Arboretum. We had the added assistance of two of the Forestry Commission's apprentices who were using their brush cutters to clear a lot of the ever increasing bramble around the edges of the Arboretum.




14 January 2016

The wet winter is now turning very cold but, at least, the sun came out! There were a lot of windblown branches to gather up which provided us with the warmth of the fire. We also rebuilt the enclosure around the Nepales Juniper (Juniperus squamata) which had been planted in 1915 as part of the Wilson Collection. The old enclosure seemed to be too small and the Juniper may be very slow growing but it was leaning across the enclosure barriers.