The 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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