We worked with Forestry England to prepare the land for a new multipurpose woodland at their 127-hectare Pleasant Farm site in Kent. The woodland creation will increase and enhance the landscape, providing carbon sequestration, increasing the region’s coverage of native broadleaf species and providing a mosaic of habitats to benefit local wildlife. This is a flagship project for Forestry England and we relish the opportunity to provide our skills and knowledge to ensure a high quality finish.

Case Study – Woodland Creation

Requirements:
To convert the farm from conventional arable land to permanent grass leys.
To manage existing permanent grass leys in preparation for tree planting.
To mark planting strips and suppress weeds along planting lines to give saplings the best chance of survival.

Solutions:
We carried out the minimal cultivations required to establish a healthy seedbed, before drilling a permanent grass mix and rolling.
We mulched the existing grass leys to ensure they are at a more suitable height for planting.
We then sprayed and mole ploughed the existing grass leys at 2m intervals to mark and prepare the planting strips.

Works undertaken
We work alongside the Stour Countryside Partnership providing specialist equipment and skilled labour to restore unmanaged ponds and create new ponds. Works include thinning and coppicing encroaching willow and blackthorn, to improve light levels. The timber and scrub are then stacked into piles, to provide shelter and foraging habitat for wildlife. The leaf litter and silt are then cleared with our excavators and long reaches. Once ponds have been taken back to their original clay bed, new ledges and varying depths are then added to create a more diverse habitat, with depths of at least 2 metres, up to shallow shelves for vegetation to establish.

Once pond restorations are complete, we can then fence the pond edge to provide protected buffers if necessary. Having carried out these works for the past 3 years, we are now starting to see the great crested newts benefit. Our case study farm in Egerton was recently EDNA tested and 4 out of the 6 ponds had great crested newts present. Not only do these ponds benefit the newts, but they also provide habitats for a plethora of other wildlife.

Visit our Woodland Creation page for further details about the woodland creations services we can provide.

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