I went yesterday on a historic walk explaining how the Arenbergs had managed the forest over the centuries, led by a chap in partial costume:
I confess that I didn't absorb the details of the history very much; it was a fine day and I got a great picture of some Fomes fomentarius (aka tinder fungus or hoof fungus) on one of the trees.
After the walk we were treated to a little dramatic re-enactment of the Duke's justice against a young man caught breaking the laws of the forest.
This was followed by a musical performance, of which more later.
Today Anne, F and I went on another walk, this time explaining how the woods are conserved now. Rather than a docent-led tour, there were various booths placed strategically along a decent long walk, where we could gather info from the experts. We were a bit taken aback at our first stop when we were asked to estimate the height, age and thickness of a particular tree. It was a big tree.
At least we weren't asked to cut it down with a herring. The crowd-sourcing of estimates produced some amusingly varied results:
In fact it is 65 years old, 32 metres high and 45 cm thick. The kids watched in amazement as one of the researchers took a dendrochronological sample. (Took me back to my days at the Institute of Irish Studies in Belfast.)
The next stop featured the legendary @Boswachter_Marc, a huge advocate for the forest on social media, explaining to us in detail how the trees and wildlife interact and the role of humans in facilitating that. I found some extra wildlife that he doesn't have to manage.
It was quite a long walk. There was horse-drawn transport but we missed it.
A good day none the less. I'll leave you with the band which performed after yesterday's walk.