Medieval Forest - Modern Techniques
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Our species survey work
Over the last decade we have been carefully monitoring our deer population.
Students work with our volunteers using a variety of different methods to estimate the deer populations.
Thermal imaging cameras, dung counts along a transect and counting the number of paths leading into the coppices, all help us to determine how best we can manage the health of the herd.
Beetles are one of the many invertebrate species we monitor in the Forest.
We have a number of Red Data Book species which are internationally rare or endangered.
By tracking changes in their numbers we can identify the effects of changes in climate, pollution and habitat robustness.
We have been carrying out butterfly surveys since 2005. Our volunteers learn to identify the different species and familiarise themselves with the survey routes. They walk these routes every day (weather-permitting) and record what they see.
During the 2012 survey period we saw 1,686 butterflies on the transect. A recent arrival is the beautiful silver-washed fritillary.
Our amazing pollards
Hatfield Forest has over 850 veteran pollard trees, each with its own management plan. The aim is to keep the trees alive as long as possible. Once dead, we try to keep the trees standing by turning them into monoliths, by removing all the branches. Standing deadwood is a rarer and therefore more valuable habitat than fallen deadwood. Once fallen, deadwood rots quickly and so the habitat is lost.