Restoration of 10 hectares of precious ancient woodland
Posted: 9th September 2010
Cadora Woods, Redbrook, St Briavels, Gloucestershire, NP25 4TT
This project took place at Cadora Woods, near St Briavels, Gloucestershire. The woods are 112 hectares (273 acres) of ancient semi-natural woodland, stretching across the steeply sloping Wye Valley AONB, making them valuable in terms of habitat, wildlife conservation, scenic beauty and public access.
Cadora Woods contained a significant area of plantation on ancient woodland, due to extensive felling and planting with non-native conifers. The dense coniferous canopy threatened the long term existence of native species and habitats by creating a dark environment where it is very difficult for them to survive.
The funds provided by The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust allowed The Woodland Trust to sensitively fell and extract non-native conifers from a 10 hectare area, using a cable-crane or sky-line, to ensure the survival of key features, and safely restore an area of non-native plantation on an ancient woodland site (PAWS) to lowland mixed deciduous woodland.
The outcome of this project was the restoration of 10 hectares of non-native plantation at Cadora Woods back to its broadleaved character by thinning the planted conifers allowing light to gradually penetrate the wood floor, encouraging natural regeneration of native shrub layers. Opening up the wood in this way will enhance the local landscape and create the opportunity for ancient woodland species and habitats to be protected and flourish.