Beaumont Estate, Beaumont

Site Information

Size:

11.82 hectares

Status:

Local Wildlife Site

Habitats:

Lowland mixed deciduous woodland

Public Access:

Yes

Car Park:

No

Management Plan:


Description

Planned Woodland Operations for 2018-9

Coppicing in Broadmeadow Wood

Broadmeadow Wood is designated Ancient Semi Natural Woodland (ASNW), which has developed under the traditional coppice with standards system.  Coppicing is a historic technique to produce firewood and timber, which involves cutting “stools” or the previous growth, to ground level, so that they can re-shoot quickly.  Areas within a woodland block are coppiced on a fairly short cycle, so that there should be an ongoing patchwork of different ages and heights of coppice and seedling regeneration, providing constant habitat for biodiversity.  Natural British flora and fauna have co-evolved with this system over thousands of years.

Compartment 1e will be re-coppiced as part of a new programme to improve woodland and its biodiversity across Essex County Council woodland estates.  The larger standard trees are part of the system, usually grown for timber on their own, much longer cycle.  A proportion of standards are usually retained in a coppice compartment providing a variation in heights, ages and habitats.  Seed trees are also retained for seeding into the newly open area, where plenty of light allows for germination.  Female ash are left as seed trees where they are visibly unaffected by the new ash dieback disease, as well as other species which are less common in the compartment, to maintain diversity.  This makes a healthy environment for regeneration and resilience to climate change. There will be supplementary planting after the coppicing, to establish a new generation of standard oak, as well as to provide increased species diversity.

The birch in compartment 1a will be thinned for the time being, to allow strengthening and development of the relatively young planted oak and chestnut.  Other light thinning in the wood aims to increase light and ventilation and help the mature oak.  

The tops of the trees are termed “brash”, which can appear quite considerable after woodland work.  This disappears in a few years, after doing a job of protecting regenerating stools and seedlings or where it has been laid down as a mat to protect the woodland floor against compaction by machinery.

Prior to starting work, the area is surveyed for potential bat roots and other protected species’ habitat. This includes birds in the nesting season.  If any are found, that section of the work is protected by a buffer zone and resumed at a later date.

Coppicing and thinning in Gravel Wood

Gravel Wood is designated Ancient Semi Natural Woodland (ASNW), which has developed under the traditional coppice with standards system.  Coppicing is a historic technique to produce firewood and timber, which involves cutting “stools” or the previous growth, to ground level, so that they can re-shoot quickly.  Areas within a woodland block are coppiced on a fairly short cycle, so that there should be an ongoing patchwork of different ages and heights of coppice and seedling regeneration, providing constant habitat for biodiversity.  Natural British flora and fauna have co-evolved with this system over thousands of years.

Compartment 3e will be re-coppiced as part of a new programme to improve woodland and its biodiversity across Essex County Council woodland estates.  The larger standard trees are part of the system, usually grown for timber on their own, much longer cycle.  A proportion of standards are usually retained in a coppice compartment providing a variation in heights, ages and habitats.  Seed trees are also retained for seeding into the newly open area, where plenty of light allows for germination.  Female ash are left as seed trees where they are visibly unaffected by the new ash dieback disease, as well as other species which are less common in the compartment, to maintain diversity.  This makes a healthy environment for regeneration and resilience to climate change. There will be supplementary planting after the coppicing, to establish a new generation of standard oak, as well as to provide increased species diversity.

Adjacent to the coppicing, compartment 3g will be thinned to lighten the canopy, increase ventilation and encourage the healthiest oak.  In doing this, it will also develop a shrub layer, wild flowers and natural regeneration at ground level.  With more light and warmth under the canopy, it will increase habitat for biodiversity.  A promising stand of cherry in compartment 3h will also be thinned.

The tops of the trees are termed “brash”, which can appear quite considerable after woodland work.  This disappears in a few years, after doing a job of protecting regenerating stools and seedlings or where it has been laid down as a mat to protect the woodland floor against compaction by machinery.

Prior to starting work, the area is surveyed for potential bat roots and other protected species’ habitat. This includes birds in the nesting season.  If any are found, that section of the work is protected by a buffer zone and resumed at a later date.

 


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