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Map of the Garennes forest extracted from the Atlas des bois dépendans des duchés de Nivernois et Donziois (1789)

Map of the Garennes forest extracted from the Atlas des bois dépendans des duchés de Nivernois et Donziois (1789)

Garennes forest once depended on the Chatellenie of Châteauneuf-Val-de-Bargis belonging to the Dukes of Nevers since the 16th century. This forest, located on Châteauneuf-Val-de-Bargis, Vielmanay and Nannay municipalities, now corresponds to the meridional part of the Bellary State forest.

The atlas specifies that “this forest contains 1833 arpents 62 perches [approximately 940 hectares] and is divided in 18 cuts; it is intended to the forges and furnaces of the Eminence, Bailly [Donzy] and Chandoux [Sainte-Colombe-des-Bois]. We will follow until 1798 the cuts order established by the forges and furnaces lease agreement, after which we will start the second rotation by the Number 1 and the following ones continuously.

The exploitation of this forest, with an 18 years rotation, is typical of a forest whose wood is intended to forges. As a matter of fact, at the sapling stage, diameter of wood is less than 10cm. These dimensions are perfect to transform wood into charcoal using process of the charcoal kiln.