Following on from the successful work carried out in parts of Blackgreen Wood to open it up and make the woodland more accessible to the public, the Parish Council will be carrying out further works this year in line with the ten year Management Plan agreed with the Forestry Commission.
Many local residents came to the Open Day held in September when they were able to see the benefits of the work that has been done so far. With the removal of the holly that was choking the undergrowth and the thinning of trees that were growing too densely the areas worked on so far are now showing great improvement. They are now far more accessible to all and the extra light that has been allowed in has resulted in regeneration of the woodland undergrowth which is a haven for wildlife.
This year further holly removal and thinning of the trees will take place – but this will not be until the autumn to ensure that there is no disturbance to the wildlife, particularly nesting birds. In addition, attention will be given to neglected coppiced trees to ensure that the trees that have been coppiced for many years, but have received little attention in recent times, can be brought back to their traditional form. In the meantime, volunteers will be continuing with small projects in the wood to improve access.
As work progresses residents will be kept informed through newsletters and bulletins on the Parish Council website.
St Julians Wood
St Julian’s Wood is located within Greenwood Park, Chiswell Green and is owned and managed by the Parish Council. It is ancient semi-natural natural woodland with areas of neglected coppiced hornbeam, beech, pedunculate oak, ash, cherry, field maple, holly, elder and hawthorn and the occasional sycamore and hazel. For the past 10 years the Council has been following a management plan, developed with the Forestry Commission, and continue to carry work essential to the restoration and maintenance of the wood as ancient semi-natural woodland under the current management plan which covers the next 10 years.
The aim of the management plan is to create a more diverse age and structure throughout the wood which will encourage varied habitats for birds, animals, plants, fungi, etc. In addition works are carried out which maintain public access and community enjoyment and protect the historic and archaeological features in the woodland.
Work during the period Winter 2014 – Spring 2015 includes:
- Full tree survey of the wood – to establish the species diversity, number and health of the trees in the wood
- Tree maintenance – removal of dangerous overhanging branches, felling or reduction of dead trees and selective coppicing in line with the findings from the tree survey
- Brash hedging – using cut material from the wood to mark edges of paths and protect vulnerable flora and fauna
- Holly clearance – removal of dense holly stands to open up the woodland and to allow more light and warmth in to the woodland floor.
- Information boards and leaflets – providing users with information about the walks and paths in the wood, what you might see, its management and its history.
St Julian’s wood is largely enclosed by old banks with some laid specimens and veteran stubs, including hornbeam and ash, one possibly being part of an ancient trackway. There is also an internal woodbank and old marl pits in the northern part of the wood.