Managing tree diversity and mixed age cover

Ensuring there is a wide range of tree species of mixed ages is important for the health of our woodland.

There are some areas in our woodland that are predominantly made up of same age trees, such as the pines by Fawn Wood. As we have seen from the recent damage following Storm Arwen, these same-age structure plantations are very susceptible to damage. As part of our management plan, we will be felling some of these pine trees so that more light can reach the understory. We are hoping that the money raised through timber sales will contribute to the cost of the path maintenance work we are undertaking.

Maintaining a diverse understory of holly, rowan, birch, oak, willow, and other native species around larger, older trees means there will be more protection for all trees from storm damage. We will be replanting along the boundary to Fawn Wood where these younger trees will then provide a windbreak for the existing trees.

If an area becomes too densely-packed then we thin out the trees to make sure that more light will reach the understory, helping the younger trees to thrive. We are careful to selectively thin trees that will help us optimise this balance between maintaining the mixed age structure of the wood and making sure the trees are not having to compete too much for light and nutrients.

This in turn will ensure the health and biodiversity of our woodland.

Find out about how you can get involved to help us care for our woodland by checking out our volunteering activities.