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 4 years of work at the Arboretum (October) and have made real progress

To see the pictures from the first year - Click here

To see the pictures from the second year - Click here

To see the pictures from the third year - Click here

To see the pictures from the fourth year - Click here


Volunteer Group Diary



3 October 2013



Autumn approaches and this gave us a good chance to clear up and burn off the piles of fallen branches which had accumulated in the last couple of months. The Arboretum grass has been cut again recently and, apart from the problem of some of the weedy pens, the Arboretum is looking much tidier.



5 September 2013



This was probably the last day of a glorious summer before the advent of autumn as you can see by the (un)clothing of our volunteers! Lower branches of some trees were lopped. small re-generated  weed saplings were removed and large blocks were cut up from felled trees. There are quite a few piles of the branches dotted about the Arboretum and these will be burnt away next month. Some more of the stumps were identified for the stump grinder who is coming next week. We have a project to identify all the Acers in the Arboretum so that they can be correctly named and this will go on in the next few weeks.




4 July 2013


This Silver Maple had to be taken down as it was already dying at the top.


The team did various tasks on a warm and sunny day. A contractor was cutting the grass in and out of the trees now that the bluebells have died away. Some of the old posts, which were originally used for tree labels but were now defunct, were removed. Branch and windfall were removed from the site (no fire burning on such a warm day!). The larger Acer pen on the west side of the site was manually weeded to try and remove the invasive bramble growing there.




6 June 2013


The Rhododendrons are in full flower.


There is a complete mixture of flowering plants in the Arboretum for this time of year. The bluebells are still blossoming as well as many trees and the rhododendrons. We spent the day clearing up fallen branches and removing a dead tree as well as cutting back and pulling up nettles, bramble and ferns. The midges attacked us when we paused for lunch!


2 May 2013







This may look like the wild boar have been in the Arboretum again
(which they have!)
but it is actually the result of a stump being removed by the stump grinder!
There is also a new enclosure pen.


We had a vist from Mark Ballard (Westonbirt Arboretum Curator) and Richard Jinks (Forest Research, National Tree Collections Project) to assess the work we have been doing and to advise us from their professional points of view which has been extremely helpful. Their key points were:

- Richard Jinks is due to return to carry out a full verification on all the trees in the Arboretum as part of his National Tree Collections Project
- Richard and Mark are going to highlight the need to improve the fencing around the Arboretum both to protect the site from Boar and mostly Deer.
- Carry out an up to date status on the tree label situation as Mark and Richard would like to assist us in replacing the labels.

- Dead and Morribund trees need to be identified and removed, this will need to be recorded on the database so that it is kept updated. It was agreed that planting space is limited however the removal of damaged trees etc would help to create some new planting areas.

- Richard Jinks is going to analyse the composition of the collection as a prelude to to developing an accession policy


It was a very productive day and we have plenty to be getting on with in the immediate future.



4 April 2013



The weather was very bitter and we had snow flurries. The picture shows an enclosure being built around a newly planted Oak tree.

We were very disappointed when we arrived at the Arboretum to see that the wild boar had got in and churned up a great deal of the turf. We are hoping that this does not affect the bluebells too badly. At first, we though the boar had got in through gates which had been left open so we put signs on the gates to warn people to shut the gates but the following day, one of the Forest Rangers found a hole in the boundary fence and has now effectively blocked that up. Many people, particularly the aged, prefer to walk their dogs in the Arboretum as they feel safe from the boar presence there so it is important to keep the boar out of this area.


7 March 2013



The enclosure pen surrounding the nearly 100 year old Nepalese Juniper (Juniperus Squamata) needed replacing.

This small bushy type tree is extremely slow growing and was in need of some tlc!









7 February 2013



We spent the day clearing up and burning a lot of fallen branches which had come down with the snow a couple of weeks beforehand. This shows the fire being protected as it gradually dies down. We take the surrounding tape away after a couple of days.


3 January 2013


The start of a new year and there were a lot of fallen branches to burn off on a fire. The pen enclosure around the newly planted Handkerchief Tree was rebuilt as the original enclosure casing was too low and the deer had been nibbling on the poor little tree! It now has a good height around it to protect it.

The image above shows three of the Dawn Redwood Trees which look as if they have had severe attacks from squirrels as the bark has been stripped off up to quite a high level. We will be investigating this.


6 December 2012


The sundial sculpture bench has now been replaced. Although we did do a GPS survey of all the trees last year it has been decided that we should now combine that with a photographic survey of each tree so a few of us commenced this work. We also had a meeting to decide on the future tasks required at the Arboretum. These include: stump grinding the remaining stumps, labelling the trees properly and using herbicide in the enclosures to control the brambles.


1 November 2012


The sundial sculpture bench is being replaced. The wood has become badly rotted so new wood will be installed. Removal of the old bench was relatively easy as the rotten base just cracked away! The autumn trees are now in gorgeous colour.