Woodland Blog

The Charter of the Forest

This year is the 800th anniver­sary of the sign­ing of the Char­ter of the For­est.  It was a com­pan­ion doc­u­ment to the Magna Carta and this char­ter re-established the rights of com­mon­ers to free access across land that had been taken away or “afforested” by the Nor­man kings.   In this period, a “for­est” was a

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Woodland Bats

Ear­lier this sum­mer we had the loan of a bat detec­tor from the Devon Wildlife Trust, which was left in Trera­gin Wood for three days.  More reg­u­lar read­ers will realise that Trera­gin is in Corn­wall, but the Devon Greater Horse­shoe Bat sur­vey includes areas of East Corn­wall close to known breed­ing sites, and we just

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We are growing.…..

Wildlife Wood­lands are pleased to announce that our con­tract­ing and con­sul­tancy ser­vices will shortly be merg­ing with Black Sheep Con­sul­tants Ltd.  The new busi­ness will trade as Land and Her­itage Ltd from 1st Octo­ber. We have been work­ing with Black Sheep Con­sul­tants on an increas­ing num­ber of projects recently, includ­ing prepar­ing a Con­ser­va­tion Man­age­ment Plan

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Ash Dieback Disease in the South West

The dis­ease is now spread­ing rapidly in the south west.  I recently attended a Royal Forestry Soci­ety field meet­ing in south Devon where Bob Har­vey has the dis­ease through sev­eral acres of trees planted around seven years ago.  Last year twelve trees were affected, the year before only one.  Look­ing at the Forestry Commission’s latest

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Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air.  The end of March sig­nals the end of the tree plant­ing sea­son and the immi­nent arrival of the sur­vey sea­son.  Our daf­fodils in Trera­gin Wood are fin­ish­ing for the year, but prim­roses are in full bloom, soon to be fol­lowed by blue­bells.  Mean­while rep­tiles, amphib­ians and bats are begin­ning to

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Deer Fencing at Holford

The British deer pop­u­la­tion is believed to be at its high­est level for 1,000 years, with some 1.5 mil­lion red, roe, fal­low, sika, munt­jac and Chi­nese water deer in our coun­try­side and semi-urban areas. Num­bers may have dou­bled since 1999, accord­ing to the Deer Ini­tia­tive (which pro­motes the sus­tain­able man­age­ment of wild deer) and other

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Book Review: A Tale of Trees, The battle to save Britain’s Ancient Woodlands

Derek Nie­mann, the author, has spent 25 years work­ing for the RSPB so is well qual­i­fied to describe the extra­or­di­nary change in atti­tude to our wood­lands since the 1970’s. This is the first book I have read which tries to explain how and why within a 50 year period almost 50% of our ancient woodlands

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Some Year End Thoughts

The year end brings me to pon­der a few wood­land thoughts, which are very much of a per­sonal mature.  While pri­mar­ily a con­ser­va­tion­ist I was drawn into wood­land man­age­ment because I thought there were too many woods unman­aged and neglected.  The the­ory of the then Coun­try­side Com­mis­sion was make a small wood com­mer­cially viable and

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Dormice at Chelfham

We always thought dormice were likely to be present, hav­ing been recorded in a wood across the road, and with the wood hav­ing loads of suit­able habi­tat.  I found a few sus­pi­cious chewed nuts when we were con­struct­ing the tracks two years ago, but noth­ing cer­tain.  Dormice chew neat holes in a hazel nut, whereas

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Woodland and Conservation Management Plans

Well it’s been a really busy sum­mer and I’ve neglected the web­site and blog some­what in the process. Some of our time has been spent writ­ing wood­land man­age­ment plans, and deal­ing with the impres­sively long new forms for the Coun­try­side Stew­ard­ship Scheme!  The scheme now includes all the Forestry Com­mis­sion grant fund­ing, and one of

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