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If gardening leaves you with aching joints, then spare a thought for forest workers in the Goyt Valley, near Buxton.
They will soon begin the Herculean task of hand-planting 40,000 trees as part of a major Forestry Commission re-planting scheme in the 1,000 hectare (2,500 acre) Peak District woodland.
The new trees covering 14 hectares (35 acres) will make good those felled for timber, broaden habitats and play a part in the long-term vision for the Goyt to enhance the landscape for both wildlife and people.
The bulk of the new saplings – 25,000 will be Sitka spruce – while 15,000 larch will also take root.
Forester Albin Smith explained:
“Timber production remains an important part of the Goyt’s future, but carefully balanced with other goals such as conservation and recreation. Ensuring a sustainable supply of wood is absolutely vital, especially with the woodfuel market expanding. Wood offers a much greener alternative to using fossil fuels in our homes, schools and offices.
Woodland covers a significant area of the Goyt and conifers planted in inappropriate areas have been earmarked for felling. Nearly 100 acres have also been set aside for native woodland regeneration.
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. An experienced forest worker can plant up to 1,000 trees in a day, with crews working flat-out in all conditions except snow and ice. Saplings must be planted during the winter when their roots are fairly dormant, making the transition from the nursery into the big-wide world less stressful. But whilst planting may be done the old way, shaping the forests of the future is very much a 21st century operation. Design plans looking 50 years ahead are plotted on powerful computers using a GIS (Geographic Information System) programme, which includes a myriad of land management data from tree species and stocking areas, to conservation, geological and archaeological sites, along with waymarked routes and bike trails.
2. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit www.forestry.gov.uk/EastMidlands
Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038