We own and manage over 168 hectares or 415 acres of woodlands in Redditch.
The majority of this area, approximately 116 hectares or 289 acres is designated Ancient and Semi-Natural Woodland and is divided between five major woods and several smaller spinneys.
The major woods are:
- Pitcheroak – Bromsgrove Road
- Southcrest – Ashperton Close
- Wirehill – Nine Days Lane
- Oakenshaw – Rear of Tesco
- Foxlydiate – Brockhill Drive
The remaining 51 hectares or 126 acres consists of younger plantations of mixed conifer and broadleaved tree species. These are established as landscape/amenity and noise pollution belts. They often separating major roads, housing and industrial area throughout the borough.
The woodlands are a valued part of the landscape providing the backdrop for much of the wider developments of the town, and a well used amenity.
There are 30 woodland and plantations sites currently included within the management programme.
The management objectives
Each of the woodlands and plantations vary, being led by the needs of local residents, conservation best practice and ideal silvicultural management systems to deliver these.
Why we need to manage woodlands and plantations
Our woodlands need to be managed for several reasons:
- to ensure their sustainability
- to encourage wildlife
- for the future survival of the trees
- achieve a variation in tree age
- to encourage the establishment of the three major vegetative layers within woodlands of ground flora, shrub and over canopy creating wider habitat and biodiversity.
Good woodland management requires trees to be felled, which may not make sense to many people. However, an overcrowded wood limits light to the ground below, preventing new trees from regenerating naturally and stops the growth of woodland flowers and herbs.
With each tree affecting one another, this reduces the quality of trees in the woodland. The majority of trees in Redditch were planted at the same time, meaning they will die at the same time ultimately leaving us with no trees to enjoy.
The project started in 1995. Clear results and benefits have already been noticed in relation to the aims above in areas having received management over the period since that date to the present day. The benefits of the varied styles of management can be seen in Pitcheroak wood, Foxlydiate wood and Wirehill woods.
Our Woodland Management Programme is carried out in line with best silvicultural practice under the guidance and advice of a woodland management consultant.
Most work has to be agreed and licensed by the Forestry Commission. In any one year we aim to carry out work to 15 - 20 hectares of the town's overall woodland and plantation tree stock to ensure the quality and longevity of the woodlands for future generations.
Cost of the programme
The aim of the programme is to be self funding, in part by the timber extracted being sold to make pulp for manufacturing cardboard, mining timbers, fencing, furniture and construction.
Other funding is received where available from the Forestry Commission in way of grants given to encourage and support land / woodland owners to carry out this important management work.
Frequency of work and volume of timber to be extracted is assessed with the assistance of a Forestry Consultant.
The work carried out will be in line with silvicutural management systems best practice and local issues.
Controlling factors being the conservation and improvement of the woodland or plantation - not the revenues likely to be made.
For more details or to discuss our Woodland Management Programme please contact the team