The Jubilee wood has been a great place to visit during the long days of CV19 lock down and it will continue to offer a fresh air destination during the coming months but please heed any new restrictions.
If you’ve been a recent visitor you will have noticed that a lot of greenery has been trimmed and moved this is coppicing, an age old practise of revitalising woodland.
When the wood was planted for the first 10 or so years the outlook was a field of tree tubes with the odd whispy leader poking out then we saw the trees emerge some growing quickly some slower. For the last few years we have concentrated on keeping the open spaces and rides clears but nows the time to let the trees show themselves. In a natural state the most competitive trees will always win out. Woodlands are not natural they are a managed resource wether for fuel, timber, appreciation or conservation. Within the limits of community self help and we steadily craft the wood into how we feel it should evolve.
This autumn I have set too and started removing some of the hawthorn and blackthorn scrub and although both species are a great resource for wildlife they are super abundant in our local landscape and therefore losing a few is of no detrimental consequence (I will leave a few individual thorns to grow as single trees) By removing the scrubby growth we can see a lot more planted trees. As part of the coppicing effort the thorns stems/trunks are being trimmed up for chipping and the brush will be flailed later in the winter. We are calling this effort phase 1
We have a phase 2 lined up which will be a planting session of smaller shrub like plants in blocks to provide a low height canopy of indigenous plants that you may see occasionally in local hedge rows. The idea of block planting is to provide a resource where the plants can be easier to identify. These plants will come as bare rooted so we are looking at late autumn planting. I have arranged two community maintenance days for the Jub Wood 28th November and 5th December 9am until 1pm (covid rules to be adhered to at the time)
If time permits there will be a phase 3 which will be to identify struggling trees in the shrub mass and just saw through the thorns that surround these trees to give them a chance.
All this effort is based on community self help, if you have time to give then it would be most welcome although I do appreciate handling hawthorn and blackthorn doesnt come high on the “good things to do list”