The scheme will create a new native broadleaved woodland including open space comprising wide management rides, glades and open ‘frontage’ to the roadside and an area round an existing hilltop plantation to retain the visual impact of this landscape feature. Additionally two areas are proposed as orchard / nut plat type plantings which will include a number different local fruit varieties and traditional cobnut varieties. The long term intention is to manage the open space as species rich grassland through an appropriate mowing or grazing regime and through enhancing the existing species poor grassland with wildflowers through the use of plant plugs or green hay, potentially sourced from a Local Nature Reserve located very close to the site. Natural regeneration if, and wherever it occurs, will be encouraged and managed to be incorporated into the planted area. The eastern and south-eastern boundaries of the site are formed by existing ASNW and the western boundary is a stream in a small wooded valley; an area adjacent to the ASNW will be planted at a wider spacing than the main body of the woodland specifically to encourage natural regeneration. The adjacent ASNW and wooded valley will provide a useful seed source for woodland ground flora to spread from these areas and this will be encouraged as the woodland matures. A mature hedge currently divides the two fields which make up the site and this will be incorporated into the new woodland. There are two public rights of way adjacent to the site enabling the public to enjoy the new woodland as it establishes and matures.


The species chosen for the scheme have been chosen to be native , the orchard areas will be planted with local fruit varieties to continue traditional fruit production in the area. The principal canopy species have been checked with the Forestry Commission’s ‘Ecological Site Classification’ tool to assess their suitability for the site in relation to climate change predictions for the year 2050.


In the long term, this woodland will remove considerable quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere sequestering some 3,770 tonnes of CO2 over 100 years. The preparation for the planting of the site will involve minimal, if any, soil disturbance thereby keeping any release of carbon from the soil to a negligible amount.


The mix of native broadleaved trees and shrubs will provide enhanced biodiversity of the site, the existing seed bank from the adjoining Ancient Semi Natural Woodland will be encouraged to spread into the new woodland, the glades and rides will be encouraged to develop as species rich grassland and damper parts of the site will be planted with moisture loving species, thus providing a matrix of different habitats.


The local community has been contacted by the landowners and their plans have been explained to them; the proposal has been met with support from neighbours and local residents. There is a long term intention to designate one of the orchard areas as a ‘Community Orchard’ and thereby encourage local people’s participation in the management of this area and will enable the community to enjoy the newly created environment.


The site soils are slightly acid loamy clays with slightly impeded drainage and moderate fertility, overlying Mercia Mudstone. The southern part of the site has been under permanent grassland for a considerable time and the northern part of the site has been under short term grass leys in recent years and therefore compaction is not considered to be an issue.


The Environment Agency monthly water situation report for the Wessex Area show that groundwater levels have been normal or high in the area for the last 3 years.