What is it about?
Around 40% of privately owned woodland in the New Forest is currently unmanaged. Through Working Woodlands, the New Forest Land Advice Service aims to move these unmanaged woodlands back into sustainable management and improve the environmental, social and economic benefits delivered by woodlands. This could also lead to an increased public access to woodland.
Working Woodlands will:
- Bring in the region of 120 hectares of woodlands back into active management
- Reconnect woodlands through improved biodiversity and management, resulting in them being more resilient to unfavourable conditions such as disease
- Increase the amount of habitat available for many threatened and declining species
- Train 150 people in woodland management skills
- Increase public access to woodland
- Create a detailed record of the current state of unmanaged woodlands
- Give advice, support and training to woodland owners, including site surveys, management advice and on-line fact sheets. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is undertaking a detailed biodiversity and monitoring record of the current state of unmanaged woodlands and surveying the wildlife in them before and after it is regenerated.
Watch the video below to find out how horse power was used in summer 2018 to help manage a woodland and have minimal impact on the Forest floor:
Volunteering and training
New Forest Rural Skills is training volunteers and landowners in woodland management and coppicing, resulting in a revival in forestry skills.
With the help of volunteers, invasive, non-native plants such as rhododendron and laurel will be removed from woodlands and the coppicing of tree species such as hazel is undertaken where appropriate.
In the long term, the New Forest Land Advice Service will continue to work with woodland owners after the project ends to encourage best practice management and help find funding to support it.
Gemma Stride – Working Woodlands Project Co-ordinator, New Forest Land Advice Service
Tel: 01590 646692