Brookmans Park - Gobions Wood (Hertfordshire)
A Coast Redwood planted by the stream, the trunk of another lies beside it, new saplings are growing from its old stump
Coast Redwoods planted by the stream
|The woods contain a relatively rare abundance of Coast Redwoods and just two Giant Redwoods, the latter are located either side of a path, perhaps at the start of a grand entrance to the estate in days gone by. The twelve Coast Redwoods are situated either side of the stream. Many fallen trunks littering the woodland floor give the impression that fairly strong winds must whistle through this 42 acre wood. Fallen trees have been left on the ground over many decades, giving Gobions wood a slightly eerie feel of a place that time forgot. It is interesting to note that, aside from where they were undercut by the stream, the Redwoods seem to survive the ferocious winds far better than the other types of tree.
Although the Coast Redwoods must enjoy the constant source of nearby water, there are a couple that have fallen where the water line has shifted towards the tree and has eroded the soil beneath them. One looks precariously close to toppling into the stream (September 2009). It is likely that when they were planted they had plenty of room, so it is worth bearing in mind that a stream will meander over the decades or centuries. It is a shame that the large trees are lost but Coast Redwoods do not give up even after losing their trunk, as can be seen in the first photograph. Beside the bridge, a fallen trunk lies, yet sprouting from the remains of the stump there are several new shoots.
A vehicle-sized bridge over the meandering stream
One of many trees that have snapped (not a Redwood)
|Part of Gobions Wood is ancient woodland, and it also encloses the remains of the 18th century Pleasure Gardens of Gubbins house. The gardens were designed by Charles Bridgeman who was Royal Gardener to George II.
The land is now owned by the Gobions Woodland Trust, which was formed in 1985 to save the woodland and adjoining pasture from the danger of development. Its founder was Michael Jonas and there is an inscription on one of the wooden bridges:
The woods can be accessed by a track leading off south from Moffats Lane that takes you to a car park. From here you can cross the field and head into the trees in a south easterly direction to find the Redwoods.
|Common Names and Latin Name||No.||Latitude and Longitude||OS National Grid||Elevation
|Coast Redwood |
|TL 25421 03506||316ft |
|TL 25423 03512||316ft |
|TL 25430 03517||312ft |
|TL 25414 03517||306ft |
|TL 25434 03537||306ft |
|TL 25475 03559||330ft |
|TL 25476 03579||284ft |
|TL 25475 03562||288ft |
|Giant Redwood |
|TL 25497 03600||329ft |
|TL 25495 03604||334ft |
|Coast Redwood |
|TL 25509 03569||291ft |
|TL 25516 03584||291ft |
|TL 25534 03595||274ft |
|TL 25484 03535||321ft |
|Girth was measured at 1.5m from ground.|