New guide explains how to undo commercial planting in ancient woodland sites

Plantation - image: Andrew Bowden
Plantation - image: Andrew Bowden
The Forestry Commission has published a new guide to restoring ancient woodlands that have been overplanted with commercial species.

Plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) "often retain important ecological features of the former woodland", it points out, adding: "The restoration of such sites to native woodland forms part of the policy to improve the biodiversity and condition of woodlands throughout Great Britain."

The guide, by Ralph Harmer and Richard Thompson, provides guidance to landowners, managers and practitioners on choosing a suitable method of stand management to restore such woodlands, in line with UK Forestry Standard guidelines.

Factors such as soil type, plantation species (which may be broad-leaved as well as coniferous), and remaining veteran trees and stools will affect the management regime adopted, it says.

A PDF of the guide can be downloaded for free from the Forestry Commission website.

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