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75 tonnes of timber cleared from Gobions Wood

Wood to be sold to help cover cost of managing the reserve


Photograph of wood clearing at Gobions. Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) says it has finished removing logs from Gobions Wood, although several have been left “to develop a natural dead-wood habitat”. The work took two weeks to complete - one week to cut the timber and another to remove it.

Photograph of wood clearing at Gobions. Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

According to HMWT, the 75 tonnes of timber extracted will be sold to help cover operating costs.  A tonne is equal to 1,000 kg.

The trust says the work was carried out for “structure, ground flora and safety” reasons.
“By felling a section of larger trees we are mimicking natural processes and allowing the regenerative woodland process known as succession to restart. 
“These newly opened areas will let the light in to the woodland floor, letting the ground flora such as dogs violet and moschatel (townhall clock) flourish. 
“After a year or two the areas will begin to become established with scrub and sapling trees such as bramble and ash, at this stage the areas are likely to be used by breeding birds such as blackcap for both nesting areas and feeding on the invertebrates which will love the warm sheltered areas we’ve created. 
“One of the areas where we have felled trees is hoped to regenerate with elm saplings which many people will know is not a common tree in the UK after Dutch elm disease effected most of them. We’re lucky to have some mature elms at Gobions but we need to allow these trees room to reproduce and spread. 
“Without this management the structure of the wood will be very similar throughout and will therefor provide less opportunities for wildlife to use the wood and thrive. 
“Several of the sycamore trees that we felled were showing signs of becoming intolerably unsafe, so we decided to combine our conservation works with making the wood a safer place for visitors.
“We are creating a warm; sunny and sheltered area within the wood. This will be fantastic for invertebrates which need this warmth and will in turn will attract predators such as bats and breeding birds. 
“The ground flora will be allowed a chance to thrive and some of these species will also benefit invertebrates. Longhorn beetles spend life as a larvae feeding within dead wood, when they do emerge as an adult they need to feed and nectar to fuel searching for a mate etc., so a nice sunny glade is the perfect place for them to do just that.”
Photograph of wood clearing at Gobions. Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0


Photograph of wood clearing at Gobions. Image by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0

What do you think of the HMWT work taking place in Gobions Wood? You can add your comments below.

All the images above by North Mymms News released via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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