Planting for the future at Abbott Street Copse
It is an exciting time for the woodland at Abbotts Street Copse, famous locally for its beautiful displays of bluebells in the spring.
Over the last few months we have been working to create a new plantation next to the existing copse. In total we have planted and guarded 2,500 trees and 1,500 hedgerow trees. Our aim is that this will increase, conserve and improve the biodiversity of this environment whilst providing a woodland that will be managed to provide locally and sustainably sourced timber in the future.
Abbott Street Copse is one of the most popular places to see bluebells on the Kingston Lacy estate where they appear in beautiful swathes in late spring. Importantly, the plantation will provide a new bluebell route which takes in the top path in the existing woodland.This will help lessen the damage that the bluebells are struggling to recover from each year whilst giving visitors the chance to enjoy them still.
The new plantation consists primarily of oak, with sweet chestnut, hazel, wild cherry and scattered scots pine. Our vision is to create an oak dominated canopy, with patches of sweet chestnut and hazel understorey which will mirror and conserve the existing woodland habitat. A scattering of wild cherry and scots pine will add diversity, and encourage growth of other trees, by drawing neighbouring trees up through their fast growth.
Networks of gravel and grass rides will add a mixture of habitats and areas for people and families to walk and explore. This will include natural seats, wild flower habitats and new adjoining hedgerow corridors.
" Ancient semi-natural woodland (ASNW) in the UK such as Abbott Street copse have halved since the 1930s. Only 2% of British woodlands are ASNW (continued cover since 1600) and often consist of the most diverse woodland habitats. Additionally, overall woodland cover in the UK is 13% (average across EU countries is around 35%). Extending and preserving this habitat is therefore extremely important and the work we have completed will improve and protect this area of woodland for years to come."