Active management of woodlands can bring many benefits, not least maximising the economic yields from the timber crop. How a woodland is managed can affect the wildlife and biodiversity within it; and, managing the wildlife within and around the woodland can be an important element to ensure the health of the plantation!
Young woodland management
The first few years after planting are critical to growing strong trees, and getting the maintenance work right during this period will give you an established woodland that requires minimal ongoing work.
The main aims of young woodland management are:
- Controlling weeds
- Protecting against wildlife damage
- Replacing losses
Once the woodland has been established and is out-competing neighbouring vegetation the management becomes less intensive.
Mature woodland management
Management of established woodlands is needed to ensure that the maximum value can be realised from the timber crop and to ensure the overall health of the woods.
The main aims of mature woodland management are:
- Thinning to favour trees with better form
- Considering Low Impact Silvicultural System (LISS) options
For mature native woodlands, there is a range of grant subsidised capital items and funding towards operations such as rhododendron removal. In order to be eligible for these funding options, a management plan or long term forest plan must be in place.
How you manage your mature woodland may also change if you decide to use it in a different way, or to diversify. Find out more about how others have used their woodland settings to install glamping and recreational pods in our Farm Woodland News - Issue FWN 29.
Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) funding for woodland creation includes annual maintenance payments for the first 5 years. This means the trees are healthy and in a condition that they can continue to grow without further weed control, at the stocking density required by the contract.
These payments are intended to help get the woodland successfully established and details can be found on the Rural Payments web site here.
Details for the Woodland Improvement Grant are on Rural Payments here.
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