The Knightwood Oak

Knightwood Oak Car Park, Bolderwood SO43

The New Forest has some pretty impressive trees, but surely the best of all is the Knightwood Oak, believed to be one of the oldest living trees in the forest. No one knows exactly how old it is, but it is probably 400–600 years old, and shows signs of pollarding – an ancient method of harvesting the tree for wood without harming it (a method that was stopped by the Royal Navy when it needed uncut, larger trees to supply wood to its fleet at the time of Nelson). The tree lies in a quiet clearing a short walk from the Knightwood Oak car park, just off Bolderwood drive – the short walk there takes you there through ancient woodland, and the clearing itself makes a great picnic spot. The tree supports a host of local wildlife, and has a girth of around 7.4 metres, alhough it's fenced off to protect it from larger beasties and souvenir hunters.

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