Sunday, 16 January 2022

Tree felling required to conserve protected woodland

A NEW five-year conservation management plan for protected woodland in Harpsden has been drawn up.

Harpsden and Peveril Woods, which covers more than 46 acres, is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust.

It is designated ancient semi-natural woodland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The immediate focus of the plan, which runs until 2025, is the area along Woodlands Road in Harpsden and reducing the risk of dead or dying beech and ash trees collapsing. The trust says this will have the benefit of diversifying the structure of the wood as felling these trees will allow other species to grow.

The felling is set to take place this year along about 700m of Woodlands Road around the north boundary and along about 100m of an existing glade.

Trees will be also felled along a 200m stretch of the boundary with the Henley Golf Club course for safety and to increase light and connect areas of open space by the road to the glade.

Cherry, laurel and rhododendron will also be cut and uprooted. If uprooting is not possible, the plants will be cut and stumps treated.

A deer impact assessment will be undertaken next year.

Over the plan period, about 3.5km of path and 10 entrances will be maintained annually to allow continued access. This will include strimming path edges and entrances.

Entrance infrastructure and signage will be refreshed and updated next year. Each year, a tree safety survey and clearance of litter at the entrances and along the roadsides will be carried out.

The woods were once part of the Phillimore Settled Estate. The majority of the woodland (Harpsden Wood) was acquired by the Woodland Trust in 1991 with the help of substantial contributions from local residents.

More than 40 flora species and more than 170 species of fungi have been recorded at the site.

The area has a long history of being worked with saw pits, manmade quarry pits and holloways.

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