Woodland Management Plan - First Consultation
We had an initial consultation with a local woodland expert on Monday. This is the first stage of getting a woodland management plan written, getting a felling license and the getting permission to fell from the local council.
Everything is a bit more complex than usual as we recently had a tree preservation order placed on the whole area, which our wood is a small part of.
She met us out in the woods and walked the boundary with us, which took over an hour. Throughout we talked both generally about traditional woodland management in this area (mostly chestnut coppice with standard oak over-story) and what we would like to achieve. She seemed positive that with a good plan, emphasising rehabilitation of neglected woodland, with possible replanting of some chestnut and thinning of the oaks in places, that we'd get both the support of the Forestry Commission and the local council. The woods were in fine form - huge chestnuts underfoot, mushrooms fruiting everywhere.
Her final suggestion was that we should aim to coppice around half an acre each year, on a 20 year cycle. There was no evidence of preexisting compartments, so her job over the next week or so will be to walk and survey more of the place and determine some sensible compartments to get the coppice cycle started again.