HERCULES Cultural Landscapes Project

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Many thanks to all that came to the  HERCULES CULTURAL LANDSCAPE DAY :
Sat. 20th September 2pm at Modbury Memorial Hall... Veteran Trees Talk & Walk and later a fantastic talk in the hall by tree luminaire Jeremy Barrell.

As a result of the event there is now a MODBURY TREE GROUP  formed and they even have their own Facebook group Click top right icon or READ MORE > 

South Hams, Devon. Project so far...

As part of a pan-European Cultural Landscape Project, the South Hams district of South Devon has been chosen to be the 'pilot study landscape area' for the UK. Within Europe there are 9 study landscape areas in the Hercules project. For my part of the project I have been fortunate enough to be able to go out Tree hunting in the South Hams district. Especially in the parishes of Westbuckfastleigh (Scorriton) and Modbury.




What I have discovered, has been personally very pleasing to me. Stunning ancient, veteran & notable trees. Friendly, welcoming Devon folks, who live and work in these culturally significant landscapes. They are truly part of the 'South Hams/Devon Terroir', people like farmer Tony Colwill and his wife Sue...



Stumpy Oak, (Hawson Cross Oak) Scorriton, Devon.

My very first visit took me to a famous local tree near to Scorriton...The Stumpy Oak or Hawson Cross Oak. This tree has been growing and observing the landscape in this part of Devon for hundreds of years. I think it is perhaps 300 to 400 years old, but that is just my guess.
See more photos of Stumpy Oak on Flickr HERE > 
See the  details on the Ancient Tree Hunt HERE>


Stumpy Oak sits in a triangle of land at a junction of lanes. I met Abi at the tree one day, as I did many folks by the tree. She told me it was her grandad that erceted the cross next to the tree.

Later, Vicky came by and chatted to me on her beautiful horse and was kind enough to pose with the Oak. The tree is also where the postman stops to deliver post to Hawson Cross house, where the locals stop for a chat, where the Monks most probably stopped en-route to Buckfast abbey. Significant trees like Stumpy Oak have and always will be meeting places for humans. The cross is marking the line of an ancient path that linked the abbeys of Buckfast and Buckland.



Even within my early visits I was impressed with the amount and quality of the TREE-SCAPE of this part of the UK. Many great trees are sitting upon the well known landscape feature of the 'Devon Wall or Hedge'. These distinctive landscape features are truly magical constructions and the trees are a large part of their longevity, binding the rocks and stones in the walls together. 


All of the trees found will be recorded onto the Woodland Trust Ancient tree hunt website. VISIT  >

More great Devon trees to come soon....