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2017 Small and Farm Woodlands Award

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2017 Winners

 Small And Farm Woodlands Gold Hugh Dorrington D71 8186 Lr  Small And Farm Woodlands Silver Vera Oxby Wn0108717 D71 8191 Lr
Gold:Nursery Wood, Hugh and Marysia Dorrington Silver: Needham Hill Farm, Vera Oxby

Gold: Nursery Wood, Dunsby, Lincolnshire owned and managed by Hugh Dorrington

Silver: Needham Hill Farm, Kinoulton, Nottinghamshire, owned by Vera Oxby

This Award recognises and rewards smaller woodlands which have been actively managed in the last ten years.

Nursery Wood, Dunsby, Lincolnshire, owned and managed by Hugh Dorrington

The owner planted the 1.1ha Nursery Wood in 2008 next to his tree nursery to demonstrate best

Farmandsmallgold2017 Nursery Wood Wn 0606 
 Gold for Nursery Wood

practice in the establishment of multipurpose broadleaved woodlands.

Woodland management objectives include producing valuable timber alongside maximising biodiversity so the woodland is more biologically rich than many Ancient Semi Natural Woodlands.

The owner wants not only to create a woodland for quiet enjoyment but to demonstrate innovative woodland planting techniques.

What the judges said: "The management objectives for Nursery Wood, which was planted in 2008, are to create a new woodland that is diverse, resilient, produces valuable timber, can be enjoyed by local people, and demonstrates innovative planting techniques.  Over 30 species of trees and shrubs have been planted in a single continuous spiral, which meant that mowing during the early years could also follow a continuous path rather than having to turn at the end of parallel rows.  Including ash as a minor component in a very diverse woodland and promptly pruning out any branches infected with Chalara has meant that saplings appear to be weathering the disease.  The very best stems of oak will be high pruned and halo thinned to provide top-quality timber.  Good specimens of minor species such as wild pear, hornbeam and crab apple are already being pruned and are expected to be the most valuable trees in 60 years’ time."

Needham Hill Farm, Kinoulton, Nottinghamshire, owned by Vera Oxby

Vera's Spinney was planted in 1996 and Oxby's Hill Wood was planted in 2000 and 2003. Both have been planted on former arable land as a discrete block of largely native woodland under the Farm Woodland Scheme.

The management of the woodland is environmentally focussed  with introductions such as a small pond in Vera's Spinney to enhance biodiversity. The thinning of the wood in Vera's Spinney is ongong to remove nurse conifers and non natives such as sycamore.

Oxby's Hill Wood is another haven for wildlife with mature hedgerows on four sides which have been laid in Midland style. The wood will undergo works in Autumn 2017 to thin trees and crown lift as necessary.

The woodland works alongside farming operations and is used by Kinoulton village school for educational events.

What the judges said: "Vera’s Spinney (planted in 1996) and Oxby’s Hill Wood (planted in 2000 and 2003) are small blocks of largely native woodland created partly to improve the landscape, which is dominated by arable land.  The management of the woodlands is environmentally focused, with introductions such as a small pond, native shrubs to provide nesting opportunities for woodland birds, and ground flora species such as primrose, bluebell and wild daffodil.  Brash from felling operations is left on site and some of the timber is made into eco piles to provide habitat for insects and other organisms.  The woodlands are also an important educational resource; they are used by the local village school for a range of educational events, and some of the 2003 planting was done by students from a local agricultural college." 

Case studies featuring previous Small and Farm Woodlands award winners are available here 

The Small and Farm Woodlands Award is held In partnership with RASE

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