At it’s meeting on 19 September, the Council received a presentation from Emily Smith and Cissy Hardy from the National Trust about it’s woodland management plans in Ashridge.
Over the last 2 years the NT team at Ashridge have been writing a 20 year woodland management plan, which includes a 10 year felling licence. This plan has just been signed off by the Forestry Commision after extensive consultation with statutory bodies, local parish councils, visitors and neighbours. One of the main focuses of the plan is to restore ancient woodland sites on the estate, which were cleared and planted with conifer trees between 50 and 70 years ago and have been under-managed in the last couple of decades.
The Trust recently applied for a grant through the HS2 fund to undertake PAWS (plantation on ancient woodland site) work in Little Frithsden Copse and Rail Copse. The work in Little Frithsden Copse involves removing all the larch, fencing the area and then replanting, with the help of the local community, hornbeam, hazel and small leaved lime
The timber that is felled will be removed from the wood and taken across the road to the Long Meadow where the Trust has applied for planning permission to put in a temporary stacking area to enable timber lorries to reverse into the field from the road and load. The works will lead to an increase in vehicle movements travelling to and from the area, during the works which we anticipate will take approximately 6 weeks. The Trust aims to minimise disruption to local residents as much as possible.
Full details together with maps can be found here.