New native woodland demonstration plots

New native woodland demonstration plots were set up in the National Forest in 1994 to show some of the principles described in Creating New Native Woodlands - Forestry Commission Bulletin 112 .

The choice of species reflects those that would be expected to occur naturally on the site. At Desford the probable woodland type is an ash– field maple – dog’s mercury woodland (NVC W8) whereas at Barton–under–Needwood it is oak – bracken – bramble woodland (NVC W10).

More details are given in Creating New Native Woodlands (PDF-92K) - Forestry Commission Information Note 15 .

Pictures show trees that were planted at variable spacing.


New native woodland at Desford in August 1995New native woodland at Desford in August 1995 towards the end of the second growing season.  Weed growth was vigorous at this site and vegetation management was difficult in areas with widely spaced trees.

Desford in July 2001Desford in July 2001, almost 8 growing seasons after planting.  The difference in the distribution of trees across the site is clearly visible.  The area of dense planting has a closed canopy of trees that are several metres tall.


Barton–under–Needwood in August 1995In August 1995 the young trees were beginning to emerge from the canopy of the competing ground flora.

Barton–under–Needwood in June 2001Photographed from more or less the same point in June 2001.  The buildings are no longer visible and the canopy cover in areas of closely spaced trees was sufficient to suppress much of the ground flora.


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