We have submitted an application to the Higher Tier Woodland Stewardship scheme. The scheme provides annual funding to support our work to return as much of the woodlands back to native trees and ancient woodland status. Our existing woodland management plan provides an excellent framework for the required work. A Management Agreement with Natural England is almost complete now and will complement our work in the woodlands as part of the Higher Tier Stewardship scheme.
There are different projects which make up our application.
First is the thinning of Larch and dense stands of beech. In these areas we are looking for natural regeneration of native trees and some re planting where required.
Second is the identification of stands of invasive non native shrubs which includes rhododendrons, snowberry, shrubby honeysuckle and cotoneaster. Under the scheme work will be undertaken to remove these shrubs, hopefully for good. They are scattered all over the woodlands, many in hard to reach steep slopes.
Third is the identification of veteran trees and to carry out work to protect the trees and the environment surrounding them to ensure a long life for the trees. A gallery of some of the trees registered can be found at the end of this article.
Fourth is creating some open areas for view points and creating woodland glades.
Fifth is working on the main track side drainage and pipework to improve the surfaces over winter and very wet spells.
Sixth is creating a new light vehicle trackway from Throxenby Mere, subject to any planning requirements.
Our felling team had already created a new view point at the Sawmill Yard. Work stopped in March and we hope to complete the work later in the year. One of the large Douglas Firs has been used to create seats and a bench where you can take in the view up past Mowthorpe and up in to Troutsdale in the distance.
Photo gallery of some of the Potential Veteran Trees