Felling at Longwood Noss plantation
We have recently finished felling works to remove larch and Douglas fir from the woodland at Longwood. Due to this work there is a considerable change to the landscape in this area.
Longwood is an ancient oak woodland with an industrial past on the edge of the river Dart between Kingswear and Galmpton. In the 1940’s a commercial plantation was added of larch and Douglas fir, called Noss plantation. Over the last 70 odd years this plantation has been managed for its timber, and over the last winter these trees have been felled.
We are now taking this opportunity to allow this woodland to establish as a non-commercial woodland consisting of a mixture of native tree species. Where possible we will be allowing natural regeneration to occur but may need to undertake some planting and bramble control to ensure woodland cover.
A productive habitat
The oak in Longwood was historically managed as a means to produce charcoal and the bark was used in the leather tannin process. Since the industrial revolution the woodland has largely been left to its own devices, apart from occasional ride management and fires. As such it is a haven for wildlife and a beautiful area to walk on the banks of the river Dart.
We are aware that this work has had an impact on the area both visually and in the short term to access to footpaths in the woods, however the long-term benefits to wildlife and the habitat as a whole will far outweigh this.
The larch was specifically planted as a crop to harvest and is also very susceptible to a fungal disease called phytophthora which if it catches we will have to fell anyway. This has occurred in a number of other local woodlands and we are keen to avoid this situation if possible.
What happens next
Over the rest of this year, this area is going to be left to its own devices, giving it a chance to recover. It also allows us to identify areas where natural regeneration is going to help create new woodland cover. Next winter we will be helping this natural regeneration by planting up the larger gaps. This helps speed the recovery process up and ensures a good mixture of tree species.
If you have any questions, please contact the Countryside Ranger Team by emailing email@example.com.