Historic Woodland Survey FCS dayschool

Peter Quelch explains tree forms at Callendar Wood: Photo copyright C Mills 2012

On 20th April 2012, Peter Quelch & Coralie Mills led a dayschool arranged by Matt Ritchie (FCS archaeologist) to introduce our approach to Historic Woodland Survey. The day was attended by several FCS staff and representatives of other institutions including Piers Dixon of RCAHMS and Jan Kolar, a prehistorian who is engaged in a woodland archaeology research programme in the Czech Republic. We spent the day in the field introducing our approaches at Callendar Wood near Falkirk, and Balgownie Wood near Culross in West Fife, which have been the subjects of recent studies undertaken by Dendrochronicle for FCS.  They differ in origin, with Balgownie being a late medieval plantation over a medieval broad rig field system, once in the possession of Culross Abbey, while Callendar Wood most probably evolved from a wooded medieval hunting park, though with working facets evident such as historic forestry and coal mining. They are both extremely complex cultural wooded landscapes rich in archaeology and veteran trees, and by retaining tree cover over a long period have become islands of archaeological and biocultural preservation in the otherwise much altered central belt. This demonstrates the potential for similar preservational oases to be discovered in other long-standing lowland Scottish woods.


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