It is the Government’s vision is that “Ancient woodlands, veteran trees and other native woodlands are adequately protected, sustainably managed in a wider landscape context, and are providing a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits to society.” Find out about Ancient Woodland in the West Midlands.
The Forest of Mercia is not continuous woodland but rather a patchwork of woodlands, hedgerows, heathlands, farmlands, wetlands, lakes and grassland that join together to form a rich landscape for all to enjoy. This isn't to say that trees aren't important. The creation of new woodlands and the effective management of existing, neglecting woodland are both intrinsic to the work of the Forest of Mercia. Equally important is ensuring that local communities are involved and engaged with the work of the team, to encourage an understanding and appreciation for the natural environment.
Green Infrastructure is the network of green spaces and natural elements that intersperse and connect our cities, towns and villages. It is the open spaces, waterways, gardens, woodlands, green corridors, wildlife habitats, street trees and open countryside. Find out about Green Infrastructure partnership working in the West Midlands.
The Route to Health Sculpture Trail is a trail of unique art pieces themed around health issues and designed to generate interest in areas such as exercise, relaxation, mental health and a healthy heart. This award winning partnership project between the Forestry Commission, Cannock Chase District Council and Cannock Chase Primary Care Trust is created by volunteers and visited by thousands of people each season.
The West Midlands Deer Related SSSI Partnership Project includes work in the Wyre Forest, Dinmore, Woolhope and the Lower Wye Valley, as well as Forest Banks, which co-ordinates the deer management between the Forestry Commission and the Duchy of Lancaster. The partnerships are varied but in the main involve the Deer Initiative, Natural England and more locally focussed interests such as the Public Forest Estate, the Grow With Wyre Partnership and the Wye Valley AONB.
These projects intend to capitalise on funding committed over the past few years. We have used additional funds for contracted consultants working in the forest and woodland sector to identify the key landowners in these areas and develop with them applications that capitalise on our WIG SSSI fund to improve the condition of SSSI’s.
We are now able to target WIG SSSI funds to fund work on SSSIs which are currently in favourable conditions, but require the work to maintain this status.
Unfavourable SSSI condition 2005
More favourable SSSI condition 2007
The total area of unfavourable Woodland SSSI Units targeted, which are declining or have no change is just in excess of 310ha. The reasons for unfavourable condition include overgrazing by deer and lack of structural diversity.
4181ha units are unfavourable recovering and 4064ha units are now favourable.