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Evaluation of the nature conservation outcomes of woodland grant scheme in Wye and Avon Conservancy: Phase 1: Area study (ENRR268)

Conclusions drawn from this study of the Hereford Plain Natural Area (now named Central Herefordshire) are: that around two-thirds of the existing woodland is or has been under management during 1985-95; the proportion of ancient semi-natural woodland under management is significantly less than that for other woodland; WGS II has been by far the most popular woodland grant scheme during this period; fellings approved were rather high under WGS I (20% of the total area under the scheme) but have fallen to an average of 6-7% of the area included in each Scheme; overall felling and restocking has been completed on around 7.5% of the area approved for management under a scheme since 1985; this gives a theoretical ‘rotation length’ or ‘turnover period’ of around 130 years (which may represent over 160 years for the semi-natural woodland); approximately 40% of the ASNW is in minimum intervention (ie excluded from schemes) and it appears that much of the remaining 60% is being managed under a high forest regime. Manual analysis of Grants Scheme files is difficult and time-consuming, and there is great scope for increasing the use of the WGS computer database. Carrying out such a study on such a small area was not very productive. There was not sufficient data to draw firm conclusions which can be applied elsewhere, nor to establish trends that can be extrapolated.

A printed copy of this old English Nature report is available from our Enquiry Service. Tel: 0845 600 3078 Email:

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ENRR268, PDF, 4.3 MB 2014/04/15