Autumn Oak - Gisburn Forest
Photograph used by kind permission of Chris Bestwick © 2003
Gisburn Forest was largely created by the Forestry Commission in 1948. Large areas of former meadow-land and pasture were forestry ploughed and planted with conifers for commercial forestry. As drainage was not improved due to the perceived risk of silting into Stocks Reservoir, a large proportion of Sitka and Norway Spruce trees which are tolerant of poor, wet, acid land were planted. Stands of Larch trees were also planted on drier land.
As the commercial forestry has matured and been felled the composition of more recent planting and re-planting has changed to include a higher proportion of native British broad-leaved tree species such as alder, ash, beech, oak etc. This has been done in order to improve the wildlife habitat diversity and aesthetic appeal of Gisburn Forest.