Trust celebrates improved woodland

 

A large tract of ancient woodland has been restored towards its
natural state, six years after it was bought in a £1.5 million
fund-raising appeal, the Woodland Trust said.

The trust is marking the sixth anniversary of its successful bid to buy Wentwood Forest, the largest remaining ancient forest in Wales, backed by more than 15,000 people and high profile supporters including Dame Judi Dench and Bill Bryson.

It has now completed the first phase of the restoration which involves thinning the forest - which has been planted with conifers over the years - to provide space and light for native species of trees such as oak, beech and hazel.

But the Woodland Trust has not clear-felled large areas of woodland as it would prove too much of a shock for the fragile native ground plants, such as ferns, which still exist in the forest.

The trust, which is pushing for restoration of ancient woodlands which have been planted with conifers across the UK, has removed around a fifth of the conifers from 300 hectares (740 acres) of the 350 hectare site (870 acres).

The extra light and space has allowed regeneration of native species, while the Trust has also been planting acorns - with the help of schoolchildren - to increase the number of oaks in the forest.

Barry Embling, who is now responsible for the management of Wentwood, said: "Over the past five years we've removed tens of thousands of tonnes of conifer trees, creating much improved habitats for the whole range of wildlife associated with ancient woodland, including dormouse, pipistrelle bat, song thrush and bullfinch.

"Other declining and nationally rare species which should benefit from the restoration include wood warbler, willow tit, cuckoo, tree pipit, goshawk and badger."

It has not been all plain sailing for the trust, with thousands of pounds spent on clearing up fly-tipping, but Mr Embling said that by closing off some of the tracks to vehicles and working with its neighbours, it has managed to significantly reduce the problem.

Work to remove conifers will continue into the future, including removing trees in areas with currently very young conifers which have not yet been thinned.

The purchase and restoration project was supported by more than 15,000 people and funding was also provided by the Tubney Trust, GrantScape, and the Countryside Council for Wales.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Loren Hughes: Senior Finance Analyst

£65,000 - £75,000: Loren Hughes: Are you a post qualified accountant? Do you h...

Loren Hughes: Commercial Finance Analyst

£55,000 - £60,000: Loren Hughes: Are you a newly qualified accountant from a B...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower