How Northwood will rise
The restoration of Northwood will not happen overnight - it will take several years for the new saplings to emerge through the grass, the planted trees to grow tall and strong, and the woodland wildlife to return. With ongoing help and support from the local community and dedicated volunteers, we will continue to nurture this area over the coming years and restore the landscape to its former wooded glory.
A changing landscape
The new woodland will evolve mostly by natural regeneration but we’ll be giving it a helping hand through seed dispersal and tree planting. Temporary fencing and tree shelters will also protect the young trees from browsing animals such as deer and rabbit. Natural woodland regeneration occurs when trees develop naturally from seeds that have fallen from nearby trees or dispersed by animals such as birds and squirrels. This natural regeneration will gradually join up the smaller pockets of woodland within Northwood and link more habitats together. This will provide greater opportunities for wildlife such as the dormouse and silver-washed fritillary butterfly as a bigger habitat will allow for more food and shelter.
Northwood already has a plentiful seed source and we will encourage the woodland to develop from this. Due to the high population of animals such as deer which damage young trees, we will have to fence some areas and use plastic tree guards as protection in others.
Direct seeding is a method of establishing woodland by placing tree seeds in prepared ground. Heavy seeds such as acorns and hazelnuts will be sown in the autumn months into prepared ground. Lighter seeds such as field maple, whitebeam and spindle will be sown in the early spring. Direct seeding can create a woodland with a more natural appearance with a variety of spacing between the tree species. Also the canopy can close quicker than with solely planted woods, which can reduce the need for weeding.
We will be planting some areas where seeds can’t quite reach just yet. We will only be planting species that are native to the area; this will include English oak, beech, field maple, whitebeam and hazel, as well as many shrub like species such as hawthorn, spindle and blackthorn.
Whether it’s in the winter when we’re planting trees or in the summer carrying out wildlife surveys, we’re always in need of willing volunteers to help us in Northwood. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events or join us for one of our monthly practical task days. No experience needed, you can learn as you go. Give this new woodland a little helping hand and become part of the Northwood legacy.