Damaged woods to be restored

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ANOTHER 13 hectares of damaged ancient woodland is being restored at Brede High Woods this month, as part of a £25,000 project.

The restoration will gradually return areas of conifer plantation to its natural broadleaved state, to the benefit of dozens of species of flora and fauna.

Ancient woodland restoration involves the gradual removal of conifers from a plantation, to allow a greater amount of light to penetrate the woodland canopy, encouraging specialist ancient woodland species to recover, broadleaved trees to regenerate and reverse years of damage.

The Woodland Trust has already restored 44 hectares of woodland in this way at Brede through funding from The Veolia Environmental Trust.

David Bonsall, Woodland Trust site manager, said: “Ancient woodland covers just 2 percent of the country’s landmass and restoring areas of plantation is the only opportunity to help it recover.

“Thanks to the funding from The Veolia Environmental Trust we have done so incredibly successfully here at Brede and we are already seeing the effects on the ground.”

The Woodland Trust has received the go-ahead for a £1.9m project which could see the restoration of 52,000 hectares of damaged ancient woodland across the UK.

The Acting Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Maria Cade, said: “It is great to hear that this important scheme is going well and that our grant really is having a significant impact at a grassroots level. I look forward to hearing about the project’s development.”

Funding has also come from Heritage Lottery Fund, Forestry Commission, Natural England, The Tubney Charitable Trust and local donors.