North Wessex Downs AONB, Units 3-4, Denford Manor, Lower Denford, Hungerford, RG17 0UN
01488 685 440  info@northwessexdowns.org.uk

Special Qualities

 

Woodland Forum

Background

We know that a viable forestry sector helps to deliver a wide range of economic, environmental and public benefits.Woodland is a valuable habitat for wildlife as well as a source of timber, fuel and products.

Woodlands also provide a vital contribution to the natural and cultural heritage of the area but often very little is known about the archaeology and cultural history of the woods.

Woodland Forum 2014

The 2014 Woodland Forum was held on 27 March at the Organic Research Centre (ORC). The forum was a practical workshop on “Managing Hedges” for Fuel, wh a project that the ORC is running with support from the North Wessex Downs AONB.

The day included presentations on The Hedge Management Cycle and Hedge Fuel Assessment  by Nigel Adams and Rob Wolton respectively.

 

Nigel and Rob then led a walk to look at the hedges around the farm and there were discussions on the appropriate strategies (coppice, lay or leave) at each point.

In the afternoon, there was a demonstration of a Branch logging machine. While the audience looked on, a large pile of hedging was quickly chopped into small logs and bagged. The discussion then moved on to discuss the options for processing with information and debate  on chips, logs and boilers.

 Good Woods

The Good Woods project was set up in 2013 by B&Q in association with BioRegional and the Sylva foundation with the aim of breathing new life into UK woodland. Under-managed woodlands have meant a decline in biodiversity, loss of amenity and skills and poor routes to market for woodland producers.

 A key element of the project was to promote the benefits of woodland management directly to woodland owners.  With this in mind, 20 visits have been made to woodland owners within the North Wessex Downs in the period from May 2013 to mid January 2014.

 A diverse group of woodland owners have participated in the scheme; community groups, landowners, farmers, councils and even a couple of local schools who were keen to develop their woodland for educational purposes.

 The woodland managers were introduced to 2 on-line free tools:

Initial response to the visits has been positive and it is hoped that the woodland owners will now produce their own woodland management plans.

North Wessex Downs Woodland Forum 2013

The annual North Wessex Downs Woodland Forum met for the first time on the 6th February 2013. Delegates representing a range of interests contributed their experience and ideas accross various topics. An evaluation report has been prepared by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, which can be downloaded here.

Woodland Forum 2013 Presentations

Woodland Management Workshops 2012

Prior to establishing the Woodland Forum, the North Wessex Downs engaged the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to provide a series of workshops looking at different aspects of sustainable woodland management.

Workshop 1 - Managing Woodlands for Biodiversity

The first workshop looking at Woodland Management for Biodiversity was held on Monday 9th July at the Calcot Centre, Reading. Presentations are included below;

Introduction

Henry Oliver, North Wessex Downs AONB

Karen Davies, BBOWT

Dan Hoare, Butterfly Conservation

Peter Thompson, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Jonathan Rau, Forestry Commission

Workshop 2 - Get your woodland working for you!

The second set of workshops, looking at management of woodlands for economic activity were held during October 2012 in Faccombe. Presentations;

10th October

Oliver Cripps, North Wessex Downs AONB

Jonathan Rau and Matthew Woodcock, Forestry Commission

William Hamer, Forestry Consultant

Alison Cross, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Peter Thompson, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Jamie Cordery, South East Deer Initiative

Alistair Yeomans, Sylva Foundation

11th October

Oliver Cripps, North Wessex Downs AONB

Barry Bennett, Oakley Woodlands Group

Richard Genn, Woodland Owner and Lecturer

Alison Cross, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Workshop 3 - Managing your woodland heritage

This workshop looked at how to identify and preserve the historic and cultural features of your woodland and how to manage woodlands with these features present. This workshop will help you to identify these features and provide guidance and advice on measures that can be taken to protect these features when managing your woodland. Presentations are included below;

John Stride, Forestry Commission

Dr Nicola Bannister, Woodland Heritage Consultant