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Over 18,000 oak trees have been planted by the Forestry Commission in a long term plan to return Stapleford Wood, near Newark, back to its ancient roots.
The beauty-spot straddling the Lincs and Notts border is the largest public woodland in the Trent Valley and since 1945 has been planted with Scots and Corsican pine and Western Hemlock.
Now over future decades forest chiefs plan to slowly remove many of the conifers and reshape the land with native trees, while expanding rides and open spaces.
Oaks have been planted by hand together with birch and other species on a 14 hectare (35 acre) site left bare of trees by felling in 2006 and severe gale damage a year later.
Forester Val Coulton said:
“The planting will create a traditional area of birch and oak in the heart of Stapleford, typical of ancient woodlands. Long term the work will help diversify tree species, which will also help mitigate the potential impacts of climate change and create new habitats for wildlife. Next year another 3.5 hectares (8.75 acre) will be planted with native trees.”
Stapleford was identified as an ancient woodland – which means it has been continuously wooded since at least the 1600s – relatively recently. Botanical surveys and fieldwork found it was a very old site dating many centuries and a place where wildflowers and oaks once thrived.
Forest chiefs are keen to see the wood remain productive as more native trees take root. Hardwood timber – a renewable natural resource - is in demand and active sustainable management with cycles of felling and planting is important for creating a healthy environment.
Note to editors
Stapleford Wood was clear felled during the first world war and bought by the Forestry Commission in 1945 from its owner, Trinity College, Cambridge. For more on the Forestry Commission visit www.forestry.gov.uk
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.