Work began in Sutton Wood alongside the River Severn East of Coalport this week working with contractor NW Tree Services. The work involves thinning through felling a number of ash, sweet chestnut and conifers to create a woodland of trees of mixed sizes under Continuous Cover Forestry principles. Looked at in 3D this means we will have smaller trees coming through ready to replace the larger ones and trees of many different heights allowing light to better reach the woodland floor. This encourages tree seedlings through natural regeneration (why plant when you can have them for free and the deer like planted trees!) and a more diverse range of woodland plants. There are a number of oak trees in Sutton Wood that are being shaded by larger tree canopies above. When marking trees to be removed in a thinning you have to be able to imagine what holes you are creating in the tree canopy to allow light and space for the smaller tree to grow. Too big a hole and trees can blow down or bramble can swamp the ground, too small and there isn’t enough light. Forestry is an art as well as a science!The pictures show a felled ash tree and a smaller oak tree from the perspective of looking up into the tree canopy with the new space that will encourage it to start growing. As it grows more trees around it will be removed. Restructuring the woodland to get the sizes and 3D correct will take at least 30 years work. As guardians of the 700 acres we manage we are aware that our work will benefit future generations.

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