Why has it taken me so long to visit this astonishing old oak wood at Lochwood, near Beattock, Dumfries & Galloway. The old oaks are relicts of a medieval deer park or wider hunting forest beside Lochwood Tower, the historic seat of the Johnstones of Annandale. Lochwood is one of the sites which provided key data for Prof Mike Baillie’s construction of the first oak chronology for Scotland, back in the 1970s. The site is now being revisited by a group of woodland historians with a view to uncovering its age and origins. Hopefully further dendrochronology – especially of deadwood samples – will prove possible; it could tell us so much alongside the archaeological and documentary evidence.