Our ongoing program of conservation woodland management has moved from Castle Drogo estate into Bridford wood this winter it has been some years since we have done work here.
Why are we doing it? This area of the wood has become more dense with the trees crowding each other and shading out the understory trees and plants on the ground. So our aim is to thin the trees favouring the best ones, this may be because they are tall and straight with a good crown and will make a good timber tree or are twisted gnarled with rot holes and lots of low branches which are great for wild life habitat. By letting more light in this will encourage more growth from ground level and this will help increase the value for wildlife by providing a more varied habitat.
This work is grant aided by the Forestry Commission and as the woods are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Natural England has also given its consent. The wood is being sold to help cover the cost of the work but as the timber is mostly small and of low quality it probably won’t achieve this. Some of the timber and the branch wood will be left in the woods this will look a bit untidy for a few years but it provides a great resource for wildlife providing shelter and cover for nesting birds and great habitat for insects and fungi. It will in time all rot down and return much needed nutrients to the soil all part of the natural cycle of a woodland ecosystem.
In the mien time I apologise for any inconvenience the visitors to the wood may experience and hope that the work will be completed early in the new year.