Planting schemes

A planting scheme of 1,000 trees has been implemented to offset the loss of other trees in the creation of a cycle path from Keswick to Threlkeld

Lucy Saunders, Tree Officer for The Lake District National Park, takes a look at 

Planting schemes

I am keen to be involved with tree planting schemes.  As I mentioned before, there have been challenges in finding suitable sites, with the right type and depth of soil, and not where the trees would replace other valuable habitats.  Some suitable sites have been found, in gullies and spaces on fellsides.  The next challenge is identifying how many trees each of these areas can accommodate.

One successful tree planting project has been working with a local contractor to plant 1,000 trees to off-set the loss of trees when the Keswick to Threlkeld cycle path was created.  (The new trees were required as part of the conditions of planning).  We have only been able to plan t smaller trees (the soil being quite thin, and therefore unable to support larger specimens needing deeper roots).   However, I am pleased with the results.

Occasionally, I get a request to remove hedgerow via a Hedgerow Removal Notice.  This is covered by the Hedgerows Regulation Act of 1997.  I enjoy this because it is quirky.  The regulations exist to protect ‘significant’ hedgerows, but the guidance notes don’t actually explain what a ‘significant’ hedgerow is.  This is left to the individual processing a request to establish.

It didn’t affect the outcome of the request I was asked to consider.  The University of Cumbria is setting up a study to calculate how much carbon dioxide a hedgerow removes.  In order to do this, they need to remove 3m of hedgerow for their study.  I am looking forward to reading how the project progresses.

I am continuing to visit sites damaged by the storms.  One woodland will require extensive work and I am visiting it with a colleague so that they can assess the extent of work with me.  Before the storms, it had trees suffering from Phytophtora, an aggressive water-based disease that is especially prevalent among larch and is notifiable as a plant health issue.  This woodland has also been identified for PAWS (Planted Ancient Woodland Site) restoration.  This happens when a semi-natural ancient woodland has been planted with high density timber trees.  The restoration includes the removal of the timber trees, usually phased over a number of years. A number of trees need felling following storm damage.  It presents some challenges including the scale of felling needed, being a site on a slope and being a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).  Fortunately, funding has been provided to cover some of the work.

Hopefully, I’ll soon have news on the bid for the ancient woodland that I spoke about last month, which I selected as a possible Heritage Woodland for the Queen’s Jubilee. 

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