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“Tough love” tree felling at Gobions Wood

Pedestrian access restricted while work is carried out

Tree felling image by Brian Robert Marshall via Wikimedia Commons
Tree felling image by Brian Robert Marshall via Wikimedia Commons
Tree surgeons will be working in the Gobions Wood nature reserve over the next few weeks clearing sycamore and ash. Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) says the work is necessary to bring more light into the woods and encourage the growth of native plants.

Gobions Wood - image courtesy of HMWT
Gobions Wood - image courtesy of HMWT

Removing sycamore and ash

According to HMWT the initial work will be at the western end of the woods. The plan is to remove mainly sycamore trees, which have proliferated to the detriment of other species. This is the area where walkers are likely to find restrictions while the work is carried out.

There are also plans to cut down ash trees in other parts of the wood where HMWT says the woodland has become overcrowded. The trust says that previous felling has worked well to regenerate the woodland floor beneath the trees.

Tough love - crucial to the ecosystem

HMWT describes the programme as “tough love” and say the work is “crucial to maintaining the delicate balance of our ecosystems”.
“Nature is beautiful and delicate, but creating the right conditions for wildlife can seem brutal and destructive, but the measures will ultimately improve the habitat and benefit the wildlife there.
“We do most of our habitat management work in winter to minimise disruption to wildlife. If left unmanaged, woodlands can overgrow and become very dark to the detriment of nesting birds, invertebrates and wildflowers.
“A wildlife-rich woodland consists of trees of different ages and even a good amount of deadwood - either standing or felled dead trees, log piles or tree stumps.”
The trust says it will be felling some trees and ringbarking others.

Ringbarking, image courtesy of HMWT
Ringbarking, image courtesy of HMWT

“Ringbarking is designed to kill a tree without having to fell it. The dead trees then provide habitats for a huge variety of wildlife, but we are also using the technique to make small openings in the woodland, encouraging new saplings to grow to create a mixed-age woodland.”

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