Wonderful Woodland

Wonderful Woodland

This week has seen a flurry of activity around our woodland.

The woodland at Overbury is managed by Martyn Bishop, who has worked here since leaving school… so for quite a few years now, and there isn’t much about our woodland that he doesn’t know! Michelle, our Estate Manager then oversees his work and helps to prioritise what needs to happen next; as well dealing with the ever increasing legislation that goes along side managing the countryside.

The annual Tree Safety Survey has been completed. This is an inspection by a third party who looks at all roadside trees, trees on busy rights of way and gardens to make sure that we keep on top of maintenance. This report prioritises tree works and helps Michelle and Martyn decide what trees need to be felled or pruned, or left alone!

We manage our woodland for amenity and habitat value, with any timber value coming lower down the priority list! This dictates our felling policy and at this time of year we apply for the next years thinning and felling licence from the Forestry Commission. Tree felling and thinning cannot be done without the Forestry Commission’s approval so they can help to control the landscape and ensure that large areas do not get felled and then replanted with inappropriate trees or worse still, no trees at all.

This year more than ever tree disease is dictating where we might fell and what species we might re-plant. There are a number of tree diseases, which have no treatment, that could change the landscape drastically. The one at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment is Ash Dieback or Chalara. This has and will change the landscape, rather like Dutch Elm Disease did in the 70’s. Stands of Ash with the disease would die relatively quickly and would need to be felled. We also have the Oak Processionary Moth, funnily enough affecting Oak trees and then the Leaf Miner which is causing dieback in Horse Chestnut.  There are also ever increasing controls on how we manage our squirrels which also causes huge problems with newly planted woodland.

Autumn colours always remind us how beautiful and important woodland is in our landscape and how important it is to plant wisely, with all seasons and the long term in mind. Following a visit to the Heart of England Forest (a wonderful charity set up by the late Felix Dennis) and a recent talk by the Forestry Commission about planting choice has to be mixed planting of both soft and hardwood, with as wide a range of species as possible, which is what we are doing in our replanting plans.

MonikaThis really is a magical time of year as this photo by Overbury tenant Monika shows. Please do share your pictures around Bredon Hill to show us how wonderful Autumn really is.  Just pop your photos on Instagram and tag us @overburyenterprises and use #overburylife.

DID YOU KNOW?  Autumn colours are scientifically proven to make you feel better.  To find out why click here.


WoodburnerDON'T FORGET 
if you are a tenant at Overbury, we have a selection of logs available for your open fires and wood burners as the nights start to draw in.  Contact Claire in the Overbury Estate Office for more information on 01386 725111.