Long Ashton - Leigh Woods (Somerset)
|Lewis wrote in September 2016 to let us know about this Giant Redwood in Leigh Woods, just outside Bristol.
He says; "It's located in an area of the woods named Paradise Bottom, more specifically on the higher ground that is on the north side of the valley there. It's most easily accessed by taking the Leigh Court entrance to the woods; there's a map showing the rough location of the tree in the small car park near Leigh Court. (I, on the other hand, just knowing that there was a redwood somewhere in Paradise Bottom, which is a large area, walked through the woods from the Bristol direction and spent a good three hours looking for it! It's a beautiful place to explore though).
I haven't done any measuring, but a leaflet by the Avon Gorge Wildlife Project says it's 33 metres high; no idea how old this information is though. It is thought to have been planted in the 1860s.
Because of the surrounding woods it's not easily possible to get one photo showing the whole tree. Instead I took a lot of snaps of bits of it, perhaps going overboard with the shots looking upward into the branches! I don't know if this is typical, but I was struck by the large number of incipient branches that had broken off close to where they had grown out of the trunk, forming small stumps on the side - they were all over the place."
Thank you Lewis for a great set of shots of a fine specimen. An 1860's planting was very common as this was around the time they were discovered and brought back to the U.K. The branches breaking off is quite a normal event for Giant Redwoods when they are surrounded by other trees. They sacrifice their lower limbs and concentrate their effort on growing upwards, I suppose this must be an essential characteristic for trees that grow in giant forests full of huge competitors.
|Lewis also mentioned how he stumbled across the Redwood World website. "A few weeks ago I took a long walk in the Usk valley, much of the way along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. One of the highlights was completely unexpectedly finding the massive giant redwood near Llangattock. It was so impressive I thought, someone has to have written something about this tree, so did a bit of searching back home and quickly found your site. Looking for trees in/near Bristol, I saw you didn't have the Leigh Woods tree - and I also realised that I had never seen it myself, despite hearing about it a few times. So I decided to search it out and am very glad I did! Redwood World is fascinating, it's great to see all the pictures of these beautiful trees (I hadn't realised there were so many in the UK) and I am sure I will be returning."
The Giant Redwood along the canal at Llangattock is quite something, I visited knowing it was there and was amazed, so I can imagine your surprise at just stumbling across it on your walk - your very long walk!