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Friday, 30 October 2015

Woodland Management in Riddy Wood; before and after

Here are some before and after shots of the coup I was working on in Riddy Wood this week;
We originally cleared this area to re-open an old access point to Riddy Wood and to provide a bench and an area for people walking their dogs to rest or just to sit and enjoy the scenery.  
That's the finished picnic area and you'll notice the thick growth of elm trees behind it.
You'll notice a bit of a change, the bench hasn't moved at all and that thick growth of elm is gone, it may look a bit extreme and almost seem like  deforestation or that we have damaged the habitat but I will post pictures next year and you will see a remarkable change, there will be massive growth from each of the 'stools' or stumps. The trees that are left are known as 'standards' or have been left to become standards and may be removed later or allowed to become veteran trees.  The new growth will be allowed to grow on rotation and probably be cut again in about ten or twelve years time. This method of management has another advantage of preventing the elm trees getting to a size where they will become susceptible to Dutch elms disease. 

This is a panoramic picture of the coup I was working on, the new track into the wood that was cleared earlier in the year can be seen on the left and the original bench on the right.  

This coppicing produced plenty of timber ready for sale these are just a few of the stacks of timber that I produced this week.. There is still brash to remove from the coup which will be turned into dead hedges, allowed to dry before being tied into faggots for use on the camp fire or chipped. This single coup probably amounts to about two thirds of an acre we will be coppicing several more coups this winter. We will hopefully see the benefits not only in the health and productivity of the woodland in general but all the new dead-hedges will provide nesting habitat for small birds and the now open canopy will let light into the woodland floor and promote the growth of wild flowers. 

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