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Oak Trees (Illustration by Will Drew)

Ancient oaks may be 400 to 800 years old. The New Forest became a source of timber for the wooden ships of the Royal Navy and inclosures were created in the 18th century for this purpose. These inclosures encroached on the rights of the Commoners, but after some troubled times, the New Forest Act of 1877 confirmed the historic rights of the Commoners. It also reconstituted the Court of Verderers as representatives of the Commoners (rather than the Crown).

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