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 5 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

To see the pictures from the fifth year - Click here


Volunteer Group Diary



2 October 2014


Following the completion of the deer fence around the Arboretum some of the compounds can now be removed, allowing the public to inspect the trees at much closer quarters and all hands were able to get on with dismantling, first, the Acer compound and, later, one containing conifer at the eastern end. The team were busy on this task which involved winches and ropes and some sweat!. Two compounds were removed during the day and now the work of tidying these areas up can begin.

We were joined on the day by our colleagues from Gloucester Wildlife Trust who were using their equipment to remove invasive bramble to allow additional grassland to flourish in these overgrown areas. 


Gloucester Wildlife Trust in action! -->


<-- All pulling together!









4 September 2014


There was a lot going on today! We had contractors in the Arboretum who took down 3 large trees which were already dying. They also brought their heavy duty chipping machine to pulverise all the brush into woodchip. This was very useful as we clipped a lot of low branches which had been overhanging the tracks.

One of our first tasks was to dig the new hole for the post and tribute to Cyril Hart. The old post had become rotted and needed replacing.


7 August 2014


Such a beautiful day to be out in the Arboretum and we were treated to a barbecue by our Forest Ranger which was very much appreciated. We did do some work first though!

Some dead and dying trees had either been felled or were felled by us in the morning. All the branches and the logs from the trees were piled into neat stacks for future removal. It is not wise to burn them off in the dry summer and it is possible that we might have a brush clipper next month to disintegrate the branches.

There is a small Damson tree with masses of damson fruit weighing down it's branches in the Arboretum although the fruit is not yet quite ripe.


3 July 2014

There was a good team out with us today so we split up - some were cutting down a dead tree and removing low growth - some were removing a couple of enclosure fences and some were hacking away at loads of bramble! The contractor had been in to mow the grass and there was a contractor with us using the stump grinder which is essential for the mower to be used safely over the grass.

We have been told that there will be a lot of tree and bush planting in the winter which might mean that a few trees are removed to allow a more open canopy. We will probably reduce the number of tree species where there are quite a few of the same species planted together.


5 June 2014

We were asked to finish off the path towards the back entrance to the Arboretum with the pile of gravel which had been left.  A few barrowloads were transported along the pathway and the puddles were covered.


We then went to inspect the inclosures. Many of these are covered in weed but that is a job for a strimmer and the volunteers are not permitted to use a strimmer so we will need to get a forest ranger to do this. However, one of the inclosures contained a dead tree and we were asked to take down the barriers.



1 May 2014

Many of the trees are in early leaf, some are in blossom and the bluebells are just starting to bloom. We removed a couple of small Oak trees which had not survived the winter. Our main task, though, was to remove a couple of the tree enclosures where there was only bramble and birch. This was hard work as the fence panels, posts and plastic fencing had been firmly established.



3 April 2014

We had a day trip to Westonbirt Arboretum - see Here



6 March 2014

We had another delivery of an enormous pile of gravel so that we could continue with the path. We also had a forest ranger with a quad bike and trailer who collected all the fallen branches so that they could be burnt on just one fire. A couple of rotten benches were removed.


The track on the left was laid with an under sheet as it was going over some very mushy ground.

On the right is the same track after we had finished.








This tree was just outside the back gate of the Arboretum and must have

been felled in the winter storms.



6 February 2014

Just to prove that we do constructive work as well! Some of the team were burning off the fallen branches caused by the torrential rain and gales recently, whilst others were laying a gravel path where the track had turned into a quagmire.


The track on the left leading to one of the gates for the Arboretum was a mess of mud. We had a truckload of gravel piled in the car park and, with the use of shovels, rakes, buckets and a wheelbarrow (with a slightly flat tyre) we managed to move the gravel and create the path on the right. It is still rather mushy so we hope it will harden up when it starts to dry.







9 January 2014


A very sodden Arboretum!

Measurements taken from the Met Office's National Climate Information Centre suggest that December was the stormiest December in records dating back to 1969. This is evident from the flooding in many regions and there were many branches down in the Arboretum to be burnt. We spent the day collecting and burning the fallen branches and were treated to a good lunch at Beechenhurst Lodge as a thank you for our continuing work at the Arboretum.



5 December 2013


It was a very windy day but that does not deter the Arboretum volunteers! There were quite a few small diseased trees cut down on this day. There is a problem with Red Band Needle Blight on some of the trees.

In Britain, Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB), also known as Red Band Needle Blight, is caused by the fungus Dothistroma septosporum.  It has been found on a range of conifer species, but pine are by far the most common hosts, with Corsican pine, Lodgepole pine and Scots pine all now affected. Defoliation can continue year on year and gradually weaken the tree. Trees of all ages can become infected. Symptoms are first seen at the base of the crown on older needles. Infected needles typically develop yellow and tan spots and bands, which soon turn red.  As the disease progresses, the ends of the needles then turn reddish-brown whilst the needle base remains green.  It is within the red bands that the small black spore containing fruit bodies tend to be found, with symptoms being most apparent in June and July.  Spores are released from the fruit bodies during this period, leading to infection of the current year's needles.  After this point, the symptomatic needles are shed, and branches can have a typical 'lion's tail' appearance, with only a tuft of the recently infected current year's needles remaining at the branch ends.



7 November 2013



The tripod on the left was erected to support a rare Chinese rose which had been discovered smothered in brambles. We are hoping this might give it a chance to flourish.

The fire on the right was used to burn off the remains of a felled tree. We also removed a few large holly trees which were growing on the Arboretum wall.

Some tree tags and support cables were added to trees which needed help against the wind.