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The Great Beech

This is the largest and oldest tree on Naphill Common, which until about 60 years ago was mainly open grassland interspersed with only a few trees.  It is therefore the parent tree to many of the beech trees on the now wooded common.

photo by Philip Hussey, project volunteer

As an ancient pollard, it is a 'working tree' which the commoners would once have harvested. It has been a popular spot for picnics and meetings for village people for generations and has many initials carved into its mighty trunk which was measured by project volunteer Trevor Hussey at 5.42 metres in girth.

Ancient trees are always important for wildlife. This tree is a host to the rare fungus Hericium erinaceum which is commonly called the Bearded Tooth Fungus.

The tree stands on a bank which forms a near rectanglar enclosure of archaeological interest.  The neighbouring pond, in front of the tree, may be contemporary with the enclosure.

Getting There

From Chapel Lane, take the footpath west to the crossroads with the bridleway. The tree stands just beyond the pond.



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