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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Dean timber restores HMS Victory
HMS Victory
Six thousand trees were used to build HMS Victory - 90% were oaks
Oak trees, which Lord Nelson ordered to be planted in the Forest of Dean 200 years ago, are to be used to restore his flagship, docked in Portsmouth.

In 1802 Nelson ordered thousands of acorns to be planted in the forest to ensure a continuous supply of durable wood for the Royal Navy.

When HMS Victory was built, 6,000 trees were used - 90% of them were oaks.

The wood will help repair HMS Victory in time for next year's 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Commanding Officer from HMS Victory will be in the Forest of Dean on Wednesday to witness the start of the journey of the 200-year-old trees.

Dean timber destined for naval fighting vessels was always marked using a distinctive hammer.

Lieutenant Commander Frank Nowosielski will swing one of the original hammers, loaned by the Dean Heritage Museum, to stamp the naval timber before it leaves the Forest.

At 1100 BST the timber will be hoisted onto a lorry for the first stage of the journey to Britain's most famous warship.

They will be cut at a local sawmill before being taken to Portsmouth.


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