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Affpuddle Forest

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A Forestry Commision woodland which has much in common with its neighbouring woodlands in Puddletown Forest and Moreton Forest


Affpuddle Forest: pit props and telegraph poles

Post date: Sunday, 10 January, 2016 - 21:17

Affpuddle Forest is, a first glance, like most Forestry Commision plantations on the Purbeck Heaths; lines of conifers with well made gravel paths running between them. The site has much in common with its neighbour, Moreton Forest, and it really is not that clear where the dividing line is. 

I say "at first glance" because this is a changing environment. The conifers here are, of course, not native and were planted for timber. Demand for timber is far less now than back when the trees were planted over seventy years ago; pit props and telegraph poles are not needed that often these days. As a result, the conifers are being removed and the area is being returned to its 'original' heathland status. Actually, quite large areas of the woodland are not forested anyway as it is too wet and boggy and so the deforestation process will be aided by that.

This area is not far from Thomas Hardy's cottage at Lower Bockhampton and all the tourist brochures will tell you this land was called Egdon Heath by Hardy in some of his novels. Egdon Heath is a fictitious name, as are all of hardy's place names, and you will not find it on any map. Once the clearing of the conifers is complete it will again look much like it did in the great man's time. 


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