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Planting Map Rumster Forest circa 1965
Forestry Memories
 Open Document 
No: 1236   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1965
Planting Map Rumster Forest circa 1965

Courtesy of North Highland Forest District, Golspie. (Click on PDF to see version of the map which can be increased in size to see more detail)

The map shows the extent of the new planting in the Rumster Plantation (Main part of what was Rumster Forest), the years the planting was carried out and the species used. It can be seen that Rumster Plantation was planted mainly from 1949 through to 1956 with some more planting higher ‘up the hill’in 1961 to 1965. The species consists largely of Sitka spruce (SS) and Lodgepole pine (PC Pinus contorta) but there is a fair proportion of Norway spruce (NS), Japanese larch (JL), some Scots and Mountain pine (SP MP)and also intimate mixtures of some of the above.

The ‘Planting map’ with its associated document the ‘R1 -Planting record’ were prime documents which provided verification of the delivery of FC policy of that time, was the basis for calculating the planting achievement targets and provided the accurate record of the area of growing stock in a forest. From these maps and subsequent surveys the full data base of each forest’s planted land holding, subdivided into area by species and other unplanted land was maintained.

Following acquisition (or long term lease) of a piece of land it was mapped with a boundary, measured and handed over to the local head forester to manage. After fencing his main task was the division of the area into ‘compartments’ by laying out and surveying compartment boundaries called ‘rides’. In the days of chain and compass it was very convenient to set the rides out on a grid iron fashion using a compass which made area measurement very simple. Ground preparation and planting of the tree crop followed thereafter leaving the 20-30 foot wide rides as open strips for access.

As usual with a national organisation there was a code and procedure convention for mapping of plantations some of which survive in the FC to this day. Acquisition boundaries were edged with a yellow ink; compartment boundaries (rides) drawn in red ink; the extent of the planting in any year was given a light colour wash, outlined in green ink and the planting year written in green eg P.46; the compartment’s serial number and area in acres was written within the compartment sometimes within a small circle; the areas where different tree species were planted within each compartment were annotated with a species code eg SS (Sitka spruce), PC (Pinus contorta) etc; different species areas in each compartment had to be separated by a dotted black line; internal fences, streams and other land usually indicated by a solid black line. The map scale was usually 6 inches to the mile.

Note that the annual reporting year and the planting year coincided at this time in that they ran from 1st Oct to 30th Sep. This avoided having an artificial split in the totals for the planting season which ran from November through to May. The Planting Year (PY or just P) was fixed as the first summer following planting and thus trees planted in Nov 55 and May 56 were both annotated P56.
Picture added on 27 August 2012
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