Owners and managers of ancient woodland are being invited to a free workshop organised by the Woodland Trust and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC UK).
The event, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will cover the essential factors and practicalities of forest certification on ancient woodland sites, particularly where native broadleaf trees have been replaced by non-native conifers. The workshop takes place on Monday, 4 July in privately-owned woodland near Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, and includes presentations, discussion groups and a site visit. Discussion topics will include understanding certification requirements and how to safeguard and enhance remnant features whilst carrying out operations.
Ancient Woodland is the richest, most valuable habitat for wildlife we have, with unique ecosystems providing a home to hundreds of rare and vulnerable species but only a fraction of this important resource remains. Its unique combination of flora and fauna, plus mainly undisturbed soils mean it can never be replanted, recreated or replaced.
The aim is to demonstrate how to sustainably manage and restore planted ancient woodland working alongside existing woodland management objectives, and explain how environmentally appropriate forest management ensures that the harvest of timber and non-timber products maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity, and ecological processes.
Laura Shewring, the Trust’s Ancient Woodland Restoration Manager for Wales, explained: “Now is such an important time for restoring ancient woodland. We want to help woodland owners gain a better understanding of how to manage this important resource whilst also safeguarding these sites for future generations.
“The Woodland Trust aims to work alongside woodland owners and forest managers to allow sensitive restoration of ancient woodland alongside more traditional forestry practices, sporting use or increased farm income as well as encouraging conservation and environmental benefits.
“We want to inspire people who are new to the concept of restoration and excite them about the work that we do. We’re keen to communicate a sense of heritage, history and custodianship. We as a generation have a chance to do something now that will preserve our ancient woods for the future.”
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global, not-for-profit organisation which promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. FSC UK is an independent national office which helps to set forest management standards for the UK and promotes FSC forest management certification for all sizes and types of forest. “It’s very important for us to support existing and potential forest management certificate holders in the UK,” says Owen Davies, Forest Standards Manager for FSC UK. “We know that the restoration of PAWS, plantations on ancient woodland sites, is a contentious subject for many, and this is a great opportunity to dispel myths and share best practice. We hope that it will be the first of a series of workshops addressing similar issues all around the country.
The workshop is free but places are limited, so please book early to receive joining instructions. Contact Adam Thorogood on email@example.com or telephone 07733 012452/0343 770 5633.
To find out more about the Woodland Trust’s work with woodland owners on ancient woodland restoration in various priority areas throughout the UK, go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/restoration
Learn more about the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition here.