Natural developments in Scords Wood, Toy's Hill, Kent since the Great Storm of October 1987 (ENRR346)

Changes brought about by the Great Storm of October 1987 in a minimum intervention beech-oak-holly wood-pasture at Toy’s Hill, Kent, were quantified by means of a permanent transect, recorded one, four and eleven years after the event. Before the storm, the stand was dominated by old, outgrown beech pollards mixed with oaks, which had probably remained undisturbed by managers for about a century. The storm devastated the stand. Four growing seasons later, several fallen trees had died, regeneration had begun in earnest, and the ground vegetation had developed strongly. Changes appeared reasonably representative of the minimum-intervention reserve as a whole. Whilst there had been limited recovery of some standing and fallen beech and oak, the former old-growth beech-oak stand had been converted by the storm into birch-dominated young-growth.

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