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Hello from Dorchester, Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:20 pm
by Dorset Treeman

My name is Alan Goldstone. I am a tree surgeon by trade but have spent the last 2 years carrying National Forest Inventory (NFI) surveys as a contractor for the Forestry Commission.

I am currently doing the FdSc Arboriculture degree by distance learning through Myerscough College in Preston and my latest assignment is to write a management plan for a 23 ha ancient semi natural woodland of mainly hazel coppice with oak standards. That is the main reason I have joined the SWOG to see if I can gain any knowledge from other members and to use the networking available. Hopefully it wont be all take, take, take so feel free to contact me if I can be of any use to anyone.



Re: Hello from Dorchester, Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:36 pm
by Dorset Treeman

No the woodland is real as is the 5 year management plan. I have only visited the woodland for the first time on Friday with a follow up visit yesterday. It is ancient semi natural woodland and also a Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) due to the protected species of bats and dormice and a rich flora, so it will need to manage with this in mind. The hazel has some areas overstood stools which haven't been cut in 40 or so years and will be brought back into a coppice rotation in the first 2 years with the wood going as firewood and then all of the hazel will be managed on rotations of 6-8 years for spars, hurdles etc.

The standards are dense in some areas and sparse in others with an even structure so planting is required to give a diversity of structure and also species. I am thinking of planting lime and wild service with oak so that if any pest or diseases has a severe detrimental effect on our oaks, as Phytophthora ramorum has had on larch and as Chalara fraxinea is expected to have on ash, at least there would be other trees still standing. I am not sure of the market for the oak standards which will be thinned as they are only poor-medium grade and extraction is not the easiest. They may end up going for fire wood also.

This is my initial thought process anyway. There is a few acres of rhodi to deal with I am also looking at ride widening and glade creation which will be beneficial for the flora but also for deer management which is a must for the coppice and future planting and creation of lying deadwood as all of the timber that previously fell to the floor appears to have been taken by 'firewood fairies'.

I am hoping to get some input about managing the woodland for the protected species from those in the know to aid the management plan decisions. I am also hoping to apply for some grants under the EWGS which I haven't done before so that will be a learning process.

I would be interested to hear about your woodland - past, present and future because as you say, it is always good to compare and I am always learning from others.

If you think I can help, fire away with any questions, as I'm sure others more knowledgeable and experienced than me can also assist on this forum. I have learned a lot from forums like this one.