Reading Borough Council Announce Plans to Restore Woodlands


Changes in the way timber and other wood products are grown in commercial woodland mean that across the country many local woodlands are being left largely unmanaged. That can cause issues such as tree canopies joining to cut out light, and dominant plants – like holly and bramble – smothering other plants. As this continues woodlands become much less interesting places to visit and are much less attractive for wildlife.

Reading Borough Council, along with the Forestry Commission and other organisations, has now developed a series of proposals to improve local woodlands in Reading.

A seven-week consultation with residents’ associations, friends of parks groups and the Berkshire Local Nature Partnership took place earlier this year. 94% of respondents supported the Council’s approach to rejuvenating Reading’s woodlands. More than two-thirds of people who responded also said that they would be interested in volunteering for conservation tasks.

In total, the consultation showed approval for eight of the woodland management proposals, with amendments recommended for a further eight to ensure that individual woodlands benefit from tailored and appropriate improvement.

Reading Borough Council’s consultation asked for feedback on the following actions:

• Tree thinning to increase the diversity of plant life on the woodland floor, allowing young trees to grow to maturity and encouraging a greater mix of wildlife
• Coppicing and cutting small trees, to improve light dispersal and rejuvenate traditional stands of hazel
• Selective holly, bracken and bramble cutting to prevent the smothering of other plants and encouraging other plants like bluebells.
• Creating woodland ponds to encourage dragonflies, amphibians and bats to flourish
• Cutting an additional areas each alongside side of a woodland paths to provide an open areas to support greater diversity. More of species inhabit the first 10 metres of any woodland edge than the remainder of the woodland.

November 30, 2013 |

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