Coppicing Work in Darwell Wood
|Forestry England are starting coppicing work in September in Darwell Wood which should run through until December. They have provided the following summary with details of what they are doing and what they hope to achieve. |
The coppice rotations are based on small coupes (< 2ha) being felled each year, using a ‘little and often’ system designed to create rotational open space which will benefit a number of species of butterfly and other invertebrates across the woodland. Birds which benefit include nightjar in the open stage, and once the natural regeneration matures to thicket stage, it will provide quality habitat for Schedule 41 species such as nightingale, turtle dove, cuckoo and willow warbler. Brash will be cleared (raked and put into neat dead hedges or chipped and removed from site) to allow light to the forest floor and reduce the nutrient content encouraging the growth of wildflowers amongst the sapling stage natural regeneration.
Veteran trees and standing deadwood identified within the operational area will be retained for their conservation value. The ride management rotation will start to bring connectivity to the woodland which will be particularly beneficial for butterflies. The areas selected for this year’s work have been prioritised as they are populated with dead or dying Ash as a result of Hymen scyphus Fraxinus (Ash dieback). It is important to remove the trees in the interest of safety as well as ensuring they still remain a marketable crop. The intention is to stack the timber at roadside in small quantities – 30 m3 or 60m3. This will allow for greater competition in the market, enabling offers from buyers who may only be able to purchase in small quantities. Sales will take place as and when adequate quantities have been put to roadside. Due to the site being Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland the approach to restocking will be natural regeneration.
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In regard to safety, the Rights of Way team have been informed about the work and the footpaths likely to be affected. Warning signs will be at entrances to the site. Site users are asked to follow the safety instructions and to keep well clear of harvesting machinery.
Location Darwell Coppice 2021
Operation map Darwell coppice 2021