A look back at Autumn with the Rangers

Matthew Bevan, Ranger Matthew Bevan Ranger
A ranger moving a large deadwood trunk in a yellow and green tractor at Ickworth parkland, Suffolk

From another record breaking Wood fair, to conservation across the estate, the Outdoors team has been busy at Ickworth this autumn.

The autumn season started with another record Wood fair with over £17,000 of timber sold, including a successful pre-sale on the Friday with lots of specialist craftman purchasing Ickworth milled wood. This event is the culmination of a year of felling and milling timber, with the week before and after very busy in moving all the timber to and from the field.

Tree management 

Contractors were on site in September, reducing the dead Oak by the church. This had suffered from Acute Oak Decline and so had gone from a healthy parkland oak, to dying within a couple of years. As this was directly above the main Deer Park road, work was needed to make the tree safe. The crown of the tree was dismantled, with timber taken for firewood, and a 'monolith' has now been left which is safe and will provide habitat.  

Some work was left to complete from last years survey, which included a heavily decaying Ash on the Albana/Deer Park boundary which has been taken down and a Corsican Pine near to the Wildlife Area which had a significant lean and general poor form, so this was also felled. 

Acorns

As usual, we collected Acorns from some of the Veteran Oaks around the park, potting them up to grow in the pot for a year before going into the nursery and then being planted out in the park in a few years. We also collected some Sweet Chestnuts to grow these on to use in future years. 

What are we doing next?

We will begin our woodland management works including ride widening, thinning and coppicing, with a particular focus on removing Ash affected by Chalara/Ash Dieback. Trees that died this summer will need to be replanted, and new trees will be planted across the park including in ‘Sheepwash’ field, along the Linnet Valley. Our programme of Veteran tree work will continue. A new fence line will be put in along the Horringer church boundary, once the old hedge has been pruned back.