As was mentioned earlier, Highgate Wood became part of the Bishop of London's Hunting Park. Hornbeam, which was not mentioned in the Hampstead Heath tree survey, is very common in Highgate, Queen's and Coldfall Woods. It was traditionally coppiced by cutting areas down to ground level and allowing the roots, or stools, to regenerate as slender poles. In Epping Forest, another area rich in hornbeam, the trees were coppiced at shoulder height so that horses would not stumble on the low stools. The same shoulder-height coppicing was used on the western edge of Queen's Wood so as to put the attractive new leaf growth above the reach of any cattle in the adjoining field. If coppiced at ground level the browsing animals would have prevented the trees from growing again.

This coppicing was carried out systematically, cutting different woods or sections of woods in turn, to provide a constant supply of fuel to London. In the 17th century local woodland was far more extensive than it is today. The map below shows the wooded areas in middle of the seventeenth century. The Hunting Park was divided into two parts, the Great Park to the west of the Great North Road and the Little Park (Highgate Wood) to the east. All the woodland in the Great Park, apart from Turner's Wood, has now disappeared.

A fall appears to have been a wood, or a section of a wood, which was felled at intervals to provide poles and fuel.

Major woodlands and wooded commons in north-west Hornsey and district and 1650.



The History of Woodlands in Hornsey again.

Page 180
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