In 2008 an Ancient Tree Survey of Bramdean Common was carried out for the Woodland Trust by the volunteer ranger service from the Countryside team on the South Downs Joint Committee.
The survey suggests that from old maps and from the age of the existing trees the Common was used intensively for coppicing for charcoal production about 140 years ago and that the industry declined from the start of the twentieth century although some coppicing was done up until the Second World War. The oldest tree on the common is an oak estimated to be 682 years old and it is thought that this will have escaped the attentions of the coppicers either because it was already well-established or because it had a sentimental value. It is approximately 150 years older than any of the other oaks on the Common and is set alone in the middle of the Common.
The “iron tabernacle” was built for the gypsies who used the Common in 1883 and the “veteran” trees around it date from the end of the 16th century. Interestingly there was a cricket ground shown on the 1872 map but it had disappeared by 1896.
A detailed map showing the location of the ancient and veteran trees can be obtained from the Parish Clerk.
Bramdean and Hinton Ampner Parish Council