nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

naming the woods 7-25

with 9 comments


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7-25 journal
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7-25 map

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Today’s bike trip took me past the ‘woods’.  Almost any time I ‘bike’ through a wooded area in Cornwall, I find the wood has a name on the map.  I think naming the various acreages of woodland makes them more precious.  Giving a name to the woodland identifies it and acknowledges its right to exist.
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The names of the woodlands in the Caerhays area of Cornwall include: the Forty Acre Wood (reminds me of Winnie the Pooh!); Castle Wood; Kennel Close Wood; and Battery Walk Wood, among others.  Each woodland has its own characteristics and I long to get off my virtual bike and explore some of the woodland plants.

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7-25 Forty Acre Wood

on the right is the Forty Acre Wood (image from Street View)

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I know from my history studies that forests and woodlands are strongly connected to the history of England.  The nobility of post-Conquest England had a special love for the forest and the hunt, and protected park-like settings for the pursuit of wild game.

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In the 12th century, the king protected the woodlands with the Assizes.  These were formal rules governing both the public and officials.  The purpose of the “Assize of the Forest” was to protect the forest and the game living there.   The Assize described rules for conduct in the forest and for use of the land, wood and game.  It also described the roles and responsibilities of those assigned to protect the forest, enforce the laws, and monitor and report on the state of the forest.  The Assize further specified punishments for breaking the rules and for the forest administrators if they failed to meet their responsibilities.

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7-25 Kennel Close Wood

road through Kennel Close Wood (image from Street View)

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The rules of the Assize were designed to ensure the continued use of the forest.

For the King, one value of the forest was as a source of revenue from rents and fines.  Rental income came from pannage (keeping of swine) and agist (pasturing).  Fines were generated from illegal hunting and other uses, purprestures (encroachment such as building within the forest), and assarts (use of the forest clearings).  Wood had value as fuel, or as timber for building boats, bridges, defenses and castles. Other values included the King’s own pleasure in hunting, and the favor he gained from gifts of venison or other wild game, or from granting others the privilege of hunting.

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7-25 Battery Walk Wood

the secluded and cloistered Battery Walk Wood (image from Street View)

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Medieval hunters had various words to describe the different parts of the woodlands.  The ‘chase’, for example, referred to the open woods for hunting of deer, and the ‘warren’ described the unenclosed tracts where other wild game such as pheasant and partridge were hunted.

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three deer among tamarack

three deer among tamarack in New Brunswick

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Best View: shadows on the road … hill on one side and the Forty Acre Wood on the other …
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Sept 6, 2013  'shadows on the road (near Gorran)'   Jane Tims

Sept 6, 2013 ‘shadows on the road (near Gorran)’ Jane Tims

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Copyright 2013 Jane Tims

9 Responses

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  1. Hello! I love the picture of the deer under the tamarack trees. I would love to get a printed picture of it for my dad for Christmas. I’m not sure how this would work – would you be willing to give me permission to use your photo?

    Liked by 1 person

    Angela

    October 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    • Hi. Yes, no problem. Thanks for asking. I hope your dad enjoys the photo! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      October 7, 2015 at 8:08 am

      • Awesome! Thanks! 🙂 I know he will!!

        Like

        Angela

        October 21, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      • I tried to save the photo today and I can’t quite get the resolution to come up as sharp as what displays on your blog. Could you possibly email me the jpg?

        Like

        Angela

        October 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      • Yes. Just let me know your email address or email me at timstims@nbnet.nb.ca

        Like

        jane tims

        October 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

  2. thanks for another little ‘journey’

    Like

    kiwiskan

    September 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

  3. Isn’t it intriguing that England feels no need to slash back the sides of the road, thus destroying so much woodland? Unlike New Brunswick which, as an aid to safe traffic and to seeing moose / deer at the side of the road, slashes anything and everything?

    Like

    Carol Steel

    September 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

    • Hi Carol. I also find their approach to roads fascinating. I particularly wonder about where the water goes. I think it must just soak into the roadside vegetation. I only occasionally see an off-take ditch. One of the biggest sources of sediment in our waterways is from the endless ditching that goes on. That said, I am not sure the surface water quality in England is better or worse. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      September 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm


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