The Future of the Woodland.
The woodland is in need of care and attention after years of disuse and neglect. To achieve this we are planning an extensive and long term woodland restoration project due to start in the Autumn of 2016.
A major priority will be to remove the rhododendron that is swamping much of the site and inhibiting access and the vitality of the habitats. This will take several years as a gradual approach, avoiding heavy machinery or herbicide spaying will be adopted.
Areas that have been coppiced in the past will then be re-cut on a cyclical basis, plantations thinned to promote the best trees, tracks opened up and glades created to provide open sunny areas to benefit wildflowers, birds, insects and reptiles.
The chain of ponds, which were originally created to support the water fowl when the site was a bird park, have become overgrown and shaded. These will be adapted, restored and put to use as a crucial working part of the project.
We will be working with trained foresters and trainees to carry-out much of the early work. Alongside this, we will be inviting professionally-guided volunteers to help with the lighter and less hazardous effort of small tree clearing. Following this initial clearance work, we intend for the woodland to be opened for public use and to remain so throughout the project.
Our aim is to establish a working woodland operation which combines people, wildlife and production. Our hope is that by establishing diverse uses for the site, we will offer a more resilient future and which can be an exemplar of mixed-use woodland development suggesting ways for High Weald forests to be better used.