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A project to regenerate areas of New Forest woodland is the latest in a series of examples of how the Forestry Commission combines its ongoing role of conservation, recreation and timber harvesting with a desire to benefit the local economy.
Fordingbridge based contractor Charlie Ings has successfully bid for a popular deer fencing contract, competitively tendered by the Forestry Commission, bringing the total number of current Forestry Commission contracts awarded to local businesses to 72, an impressive 95 per cent of all contracted work.
Adam Drew, Head of Woodland Management at the Forestry Commission, explained:
“The Forestry Commission contributes to the local economy in a number of ways. One of these is to award work – through a competitive tendering process - to high quality local contractors, providing a much needed boost during the current economic climate.
“We currently have 76 ‘live’ contracts covering the New Forest, Dorset and South Wiltshire and all but four of them are delivered by companies based in the local area. These contracts cover a range of tasks such as timber haulage, cycle trail construction, habit restoration and survey work. They also include property maintenance and forest management operations, including the recent deer fencing project.”
The deer fencing project is aimed at reducing damage to young trees caused by free roaming deer. The Forestry Commission plants new trees in areas where conifers have been recently clear felled and, by using fencing, deer movement can be effectively restricted and young trees protected. All species of deer will eat tender tree shoots and leaves, whilst certain breeds of deer will peel and eat bark. Male deer also clean the velvet off their newly-grown antlers by rubbing them on young trees which can damage the bark and even kill the tree.
Local contractor Charlie Ings commented:
“The deer fencing contract is the latest in a series of tenders I have undertaken for the Forestry Commission over a period of more than twenty years. Local contractors, such as myself, are able to deliver a high standard of work through strong local knowledge; a common, shared understanding of the forest; and excellent partnership working with the Forestry Commission.”
Six species of deer live wild in Britain today with a total population of around one million. Britons exterminated wolves and other animals which once helped to control deer numbers naturally and also introduced four new species (fallow, sika, muntjac and chinese water deer) to the UK.
Notes to Editors
- The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For more information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest.
- Charlie Ings can be contacted on 07752 610660.
Libby Burke at the Forestry Commission on 02380 286832.