Forest rangers searching for “tree with breasts” in Sonian Forest

Forest rangers have started scouring the Sonian Forest around Groenendaal, near Hoeliaart in Flemish Brabant in search of the “oak tree with breast”. They became aware of the existence of the tree after an old book containing maps of the forest from 1740 was rediscovered during the recent Archaeology Days. 

In addition to many places that were already known to them the forest rangers were surprised to find an “oak tree with breasts” described on the maps”.  Forest ranger Tijl Schelfout has already searched for the oak, but thus far his quest has been fruitless.

For several weeks now, forest rangers Nature and Forest Agency (ANB) have been searching for a tree with breasts in the Sonian Forest. As part of their research for the recent Archeology Days, the forest rangers at Groenendaal Regional Office rediscovered a book containing maps of the Sonian Forest from the 18th centuary.

The old book is probably the work of those that were in charge of managing the forest almost three hundred years ago. managers. Forest ranger Tijl Schelfout saw the book for the first time and found its contents intriguing. "The paths are nicely drawn and geometrically correct, but the buildings are somewhat larger, not really true to scale. We are trying to find all the places on the old maps"

While the maps contain places and features that the forest rangers already knew about. There are some features such as the tree with breast that they didn’t know about. In addition to this there are also places that exist now but didn’t back then and vice-versa. "For example, there is the Michielsplas, but that pond seems to have disappeared now. It appears that there must have been a set of gallows heading towards of La Hulpe. There is also talk of 't Schanske, which must be an area of man-made elevated ground.  We have probably found traces of that ", Tijl Schelfout told VRT News.

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