PRS004 WELLOW WOOD

OVERVIEW

The planting area was once used for growing maize, but heavy rains and constant ploughing resulted in the ground becoming waterlogged, leading to soil erosion and nutrient runoff.

The planting will transform the degraded farmland into a native, mixed broadleaf copse that links into the surrounding habitats. A small stream with a network of ponds surrounded by scrubby woodland runs to the north. The new copse will almost double the area of the existing woodland and further help to improve the local water and soil quality, as well as providing a new habitat for wildlife. By connecting the fragmented habitats, the planting has the potential to bolster the local landscape’s resilience to threats such as climate change, as the habitat becomes bigger, better and more joined up. The woodland will also boost the delivery of localised ecosystem services. The trees will lock up carbon as they grow, improve local water quality and water retention as their roots absorb and filter rainwater, increase the soil fertility as their leaves fall, adding to the organic matter, replenishing the lost soil quality.

The woodland will also be managed to provide a long-term sustainable supply of timber. Regular thinning of the trees will ensure the parents are constantly making way for their children, creating a diverse mix of tree species at varying ages. The ongoing management will also maintain the woodland’s other habitats such as open glades and paths which are often wildlife hotspots as they can support a mix of both wooded and non-wood flora. Designed to have 4 separate compartments, divided by grassy paths with herbaceous edges; the new woodland will incorporate 20 different native trees species, all of which provide different wildlife benefits.

Expert Provider

Key Aims

6,400 Trees

5.28 ha

713 CO2 sequestered

Additional Benefits

Soil

Water

Ecosystems & biodiversity

Visual landscape

THE SITE

The aim of this project is to create something for the owner to be proud of, enhancing a small area of degraded farm land into an area designated for trees and wildlife. Planting plans shall consider water movements, local wildlife diversity, and carbon storage.

TREES

The new woodland will incorporate 20 different native trees species. Some of the carefully chosen species will sequester carbon at a rapid rate. Once the trees are established and some reach maturity, regular, selective removal of individual trees for timber production, which have locked in their carbon, will simulate the natural cycle within a woodland. This natural cycle, simulates the creation of open pockets within the woodland that will encourage the natural regeneration of the woodland, diversifying the woodland structure as new saplings establish and will also allow the surrounding trees to grow quicker and larger, locking up even more carbon.

CARBON

The conversion of low-production farmland to woodland will not only mean the woodland will be locking away carbon into the timber and soils but the transformation will instantly reduce their carbon footprint as land will be taken out of short-rotation crops, which otherwise releases soil carbon and emits carbon in the use of chemicals and machinery.

The Grown in Britain Canopy Metrics ensure that all of our projects are independently audited, designed and delivered to exemplary standards.

BIODIVERSITY

The previous land use, lacked in species diversity but have some features that will be assimilated into the planting scheme. The already established hedgerows will be allowed to grow out and expand, the wildflowers of the grassland will be encouraged to colonise new glades and rides. The long-term woodland management will maintain these open habitats within the woodland to enhance the site’s overall biodiversity.

WATER QUALITY AND QUANTITY

Poor farming practices have led to disturbance of the underlying land drainage systems causing surface run off and soil and nutrient erosion. The planting of trees aims to impede the flow of water across the site, reducing siltation of the adjacent streams and ponds, and decreasing rates of flooding further along the catchment area.

PEOPLE AND ACCESS

There is a public right of way currently running through the site. This footpath has been incorporated into the scheme design and the ongoing maintenance of rides will allow visitors to explore the connecting permissive paths around the compartments, and watch the woodland grow.

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