CURRENT FELLING IN BROXBOURNE WOODS

Hertfordshire County Council’s Countryside Management Service (CMS) is currently managing a long term habitat restoration project at the County Council owned Broxbourne Wood (Hertfordshire’s only National Nature Reserve).

In 2011 CMS embarked upon a bold programme of works to restore an area of “wood pasture”, previously lost to 1960’s conifer plantation. The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of a European Special Area of Conservation, making it one of our most important and protected wildlife assets. Over a period of fifteen years, significant areas of woodland are being removed, habitat restored and the area returned to a low intensity conservation grazing regime.

The fourth of nine scheduled felling operations are currently happening. Conifers and self-set broad leaved trees will be removed to make way for a more open landscape of scattered trees, heathland and acid grassland. This kind of habitat is now rare in the county, approximately 97% of our heathland having been lost over the last century. Follow up works to prepare the ground will be undertaken in spring of next year once the resident population of Great Crested Newts have returned to their pond to breed.

Contractors will be on site from Wednesday 8th November for approximately two weeks to carry out the felling operation.

Work completed to date has been financed through a range of external grants from the Sita Trust, Forestry Commission and Natural England, supplemented by the sale of sustainable woodland produce to local markets. Conservation Volunteers, Wood Wardens and volunteer Cattle Checkers have all contributed hundreds of hours of their time and acted as project ambassadors, ensuring that the project has so far been a resounding success.

Further details are available here: https://storify.com/HertsCMS/broxbourne-woods-sssi-restoration-project