Q. Why do we need to sometimes cut down the trees?
A. Over the past 20 years many of the County Council's woodlands have received little active management. Having been shaped by centuries of traditional management, such as coppicing, without intervention much of their wildlife and heritage interest could be lost. Felling some of the trees using traditional techniques will enable us to conserve and enhance the cultural and environmental features of the woodlands as well as maintaining safe access for members of the public by ensuring paths are open and dangerous trees are removed.
Q. What will happen to the timber?
A. Timber and firewood will be available to buy in Essex County Council’s country parks. All proceeds from the sale of timber will help contribute towards the cost of conserving and managing the woodlands. Visit our Firewood section to find put where to buy it.
Q. Who is responsible for the work?
A. Place Services is working closely with Essex County Council Country Parks to manage the project. Place Services has an excellent track-record in developing innovative land management projects such as the Legacy Grazing Project.
Q. Who was consulted?
A. The work is underpinned by an estate wide Forestry Commission Management Plan. This took a year to prepare and the public were consulted.
We were required to obtain a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission to implement the plan, as part of the application process this is placed on the public register for a further period of consultation.
Q. How can we be sure it won’t cause damage to the woodlands?
Woodland management will be carried out in a traditional manner using heavy horses. This approach allows the work to be done in a sensitive manner and is the preferred method compared with the use of machinery. A single contractor, Hawthorn Heavy Horses, has been chosen as a local company with a strong reputation for woodland management using horses.
Q. What is the cost?
A. Annual funding of £28,000 has been secured from Countryside Stewardship for a period of five years. Additional income is expected to be generated from grant funding and sales from timber, firewood and other woodland products with the aim of making the project cost neutral in the long-term.
Q. Will I be able to use the woods while the work is taking place?
A. Sections of the wood will be out of bounds while the work is taking place. There will be clear signage informing members of the public.