Oakley wood (Report on forestry work Feb2021)
If you have visited Oakley Wood recently you will not have failed to notice the major felling of trees (30%) and the resulting disruption to pathways. The good news is that this work has finished and the ruts and troughs filled in. The work is following current thinking on the management of woodlands; to remove non-native conifers and replace them with broad leaved natives. As well as ensuring the tree stock stays vibrant switching to native trees is thought to benefit a large number of species and wildlife diversification. The replenishment of the trees will be achieved by a mixture of natural seed propagation and the planting of up to 600 new trees in the next few months. In the short term in the areas cleared the bluebells will be disrupted by the increase in natural light on the floor of the wood and the resultant increase in competing ground plants. Hopefully areas that have not been so heavily ‘pruned’ such as the area close to Ashorne college will still have a good display this spring.
So short term pain for long term gain, and in the coming months and years the wood will still be an interesting place to watch how the new trees and fauna develop. Walking through the newly thinned areas it’s interesting to spot the native trees that have been left, a good website for tree spotting can be found at the woodlands trust . More information on Warwickshire policy on woodland management at Warwickshire wildlife trust and if you want to dig deep research into woodland management by the forestry commission