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Beech at Broadstone Warren

The biggest beech tree on record. Did Winnie The Pooh visit this one?

4 February 2008

This magnificent specimen, with a girth of 8.40 metres is currently the largest ancient beech tree we have verified in the country. The tree is located not far from where Winnie The Pooh lived in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex. The site is actually on scout owned land at Broadstone Warren, but they have given permission for visitors to see the tree.

Link to beech at Broadstone Warren

The tree was discovered by volunteer verifier Ali Wright and Maggy Sewell in September 2007 and was something of a trek as Ali takes up:

"We were searching for the biggest beech tree in Sussex - following various leads from books and rumours.... We spent a fruitless morning scrambling through steep woodland and squelching across muddy fields, only to discover that the tree we had heard about had fallen.

In the afternoon we moved across Ashdown Forest to Broadstone Warren. Here we followed some less than detailed directions and spent some time trying various routes through the woodland in search of what we now believed to be the tree we were after.

On the point of giving up we decided on last try down another track. After a little way a glade opened up beyond a few trees. We were stunned as we entered the glade - what an amazing tree. Some huge branches lay on the ground but a few majestic ones still soared towards the sky. The trunk is an intricate pattern of cracks, cavities and decay. What a wonderful habitat for wildlife. One old branch stub has the appearance of a ram's head.

This tree is in a fairly advanced state of decay and may not stand for much longer - so we felt a certain awe and privilege at having been in its presence......"

Beech at Broadstone Warren. Photo Ali Wright