We work with private woodland owners, woodland investment companies, local & district councils and wildlife & conservation groups to provide long term management plans specific to the requirements and goals of the woodland owner. Whether it be to maximize output and long-term profit, develop wildlife conservation or increase biodiversity.
Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested.
A well-planned harvest focuses on the trees that are to remain rather than on the trees that are to be cut. These “residual” trees and seedlingswill provide the forest benefits that future generations will enjoy, so it is important to choose them with care. Harvesting can lessen competition for soil nutrients and sunlight. Trees grow bigger and more rapidly when other trees do not crowd them.
Landowners may harvest trees from their woodland for many reasons. They may want to make a better place for wildlife, they may want more light on the forest floor. They may want to give trees more room to grow. They may need money. These different objectives require landowners to think about many things before they decide to cut trees. Harvesting some trees allows more growing space for the remaining trees and tree seedlings.
When woodlands are planted the young trees are closely planted so they compete with each other and 'draw' each other up towards the light. This encourages straight growth. As the trees grow older thinning takes place periodically. The purpose is to selectively remove poor specimen trees and/or to give more space and light to those with a greater potential to grow into fine mature trees.
Ditches can be seen like the arteries and veins of some woodlands and the maintenance of ditches to keep them free flowing can be of the up most importance to the health of the woodland. Depending on the particular site water needs to freely drain from woodlands so they do not become waterlogged. If the ground becomes too wet then the health of the trees can be undermined.
Tracks and rides
Opening up new tracks into amenity woodland allows owners and visitors to gain access deep into their woodland. In commercial woodlands it gives access for timber and product extraction. It is essential to maintain tracks and rides especially for commercial woodlands because in commercial woodlands a large amount of the management work takes place over the winter months when ground conditions are normally wet and boggy this means that the tracks and rides are likely the become rutted and in some cases unusable.
After woodland work such as felling, once the timber has been extracted, the brushwood will remain. There are several choices that can be made as to what to do with it depending on the sites management objectives. For example, it can be piled up and left to rot down- this provides habitats for lots of wildlife and increases biodiversity. The brushwood can be burnt- this is a cheap and effective way of dealing with the problem and our specialist insurance allows us to do this. Another option is to use a chipper to chip the wood, which can be spread on the ground and left to rot down or be collected and used commercially as a garden weed suppressant or in play areas etc.