Why are woodlands important?
Woodlands have many different values both to their owners and to society. These include, a woodland’s capacity to provide a habitat for wildlife; to protect water and soils; to produce high-quality timber; to enhance the landscape and living and working environments; to act as a financial investment, or to embody or protect an aspect of our heritage. The values that are most desired by today’s society include the creation and maintenance of habitats for wildlife, producing healthy and pleasing living and working environments for people, protecting biodiversity and aspects of our cultural heritage, and providing safe areas for recreation and sport. Reference: The Forestry Commission – English Woodland grant Scheme
Why manage woodland?
Without regular maintenance work woodlands deteriorate. Newly planted trees die, young plantations become crowded with trees drawn up towards the light and a reduction in diversity can result.
BlueSky Environmental Solutions can provide management guidance carefully tailored to the needs of each woodland area to ensure healthy woodlands with good diversity and the ability to provide benefits to the environment in perpetuity.
Our Services include:
- Preparation of woodland design and future maintenance plans for the creation of new woodland
- Woodland planting schemes
- Woodland surveys
- Protection of existing woodland species, plus the enhancement and creation of new habitats to improve woodland biodiversity
- Access track clearance and creation
- Thinning - removal of some trees to allow room for the best specimens to develop
- Group selection - felling carefully selected mature trees to allow young trees to grow
- Control of weeds around newly planted or regenerating trees
- Woodland fencing to exclude grazing animals allowing woodland to regenerate naturally
- Defensive planting
- Coppicing of shrub species
- Control of invasive species such as Rhododendron and Japanese knotweed
- Where appropriate, to utilise traditional woodland management techniques, for example: to control scrub using grazing animals
- To develop commercial and recreational activities and maximise opportunities for external funding and grant schemes
Trees and development
One of the most common threats to trees is proposed development of land. It is important for trees to be considered at the earliest stages of any proposals. A survey of all trees on the site should be carried out and the trees plotted accurately on a plan. The survey and plan should follow the methodology laid down in British Standard 5837 'A Guide for trees in relation to construction'.
Where the tree issues are particularly critical or where large numbers of trees are involved it is advisable for the developer to commission a tree and woodland survey.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and Conservation Areas provide additional legal protection for trees under the auspices of the Town and Country Planning Act which are administered by local councils. Although there are certain exemptions, it is important to check for designations before any tree surgery or removal is undertaken. You will usually receive a decision within 6 weeks for Conservation Areas and 2 months for TPOs and planning conditions. If you want to remove trees, you may be required to plant replacements of the same species and in the same location.
BlueSky Environmental Solutions can provide a tailored service based on your exact requirements from initial surveys and woodland management plans right through to implementation and future woodland maintenance. Please contact us for further details.