EIF Woodland Creation
2015 - Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry Woodland Creation Award
Sponsored by Natural Resources Wales.
This Award recognises “new woodland creation” in Wales that demonstrates silvicultural excellence, and the delivery of a range of ecosystem services in the wider environment. There was a minimum area of 0.5ha in total, with no maximum size. Wodlands from one to ten years old were eligible.
The Gold award went to Caia Community Woods, owned by Wrexham County Borough Council. The Silver Award was won jointly by: Bron Haul, Abergele, Conwy, owned by David Brown and Ruth Pybus; Felin Senni, Heol Senni, Brecon, owned by Sian and Richard Norgate.
|Ruth Jenkins from Natural Resources Wales , Andy Lewis, centre, from Wrexham County Borough Council and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
Caia Park is one of the largest Council housing estates in North Wales, with high density housing and issues of multiple deprivations. The four-year-old woodland covers 2.9ha. It was created through the Welsh Government's Plant scheme. More than 7,000 trees were planted to be managed on a continuous cover basis.Specific objectives included:
- being carbon positive
- creating firewood from thinnings for local people
- providing timber for wood products, including to Caia Crafts, and for fencing etc
- creating oportunites for local residents to experience nature
- acting as an educational resource for local schools
- growing quality hardwoods
What the judges said: They were particularly impressed by community involvement :"The
blocks,some of which incorporated existing mature trees and which are linked by amenity trees planted along pedestrian routes, were named by children from local primary schools and a local nursery; we particularly liked “Tattybogle Wood”. Now four years old, the woodlands are used for education (by NRW Education Officers) and recreation (there are well-trodden paths through the larger blocks), and provide opportunities for local residents to enjoy nature and wildlife in an urban environment."
What the owners said: On behalf of Wrexham County Borough Council, Lead member for Environment and Transport, Councillor David Bithell said he was very proud of the award: "It’s absolutely fantastic that as a Local Authority we have been able to win such a prestigious award from the Royal Forestry Society.
"The creation of Caia Community Woods would not have happened without the support of local residents and Councillors, along with input and hard work from a lot of other people, not least the Wrexham & Denbighshire Coed Cymru Officers and Natural Resources For Wales’s Plant! Officers."
The Senior Tree Officer explained: “The amount of Public Open Space in Caia Park meant that we were able to use the support of the Plant! Scheme combined with BWW to create a multi–purpose urban woodland for the benefit of the local community. Although only recently established, the woodland is already providing habitat, landscape improvements and giving local people access to nature. These benefits will increase as the woodland develops and we will continue to manage the woodland in order to maximise these benefits for the community”.
|Ruth Jenkins from Natural Resources Wales with owners David Brown, Ruth Pybus and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
This one-year-old 4ha woodland was created in 2014 with support from Glastir Woodland Creation Native Woodland Carbon category. The area had previously been grazed by cattle and included areas of gorse and bracken.It is part of the Elwy Valley Deer Management Group focus area for the Deer Inititative. It has been planted with oak, wild cherry, birch, hazel, rowan, holly, yew and alder with sweet chestnut as an ash replacement. Elder is regenerating widely.Objectives included:
- high quality timber from oak, cherry and sweet chestnut
- wood fuel from thinnings and logs
- local interruption of rainwater run off to reduce flood frequency and uptake by trees of nitrogen
- carbon sequestration
- landscape enhancement
- education resource (MSc to primary)
- recreation (a public footpath runs through the site)
- biodiversity enhancement and wildlife corridors
- resilience against climate change
What the judges said: "Although it is only a year old, the woodland is already used for education (of schoolchildren, university students and adults). As it develops it will enhance the local landscape and regulate water flows into the River Elwy."
What the owners said: "We are delighted to have been awarded a joint silver prize for our woodland creation scheme. For ourselves and our many volunteers, it is hugely encouraging to receive this recognition for our long hours of winter work and on-going tree care. We spent a lovely afternoon with the judges and valued their comments and enthusiasm. Thanks."
|Ruth Jenkins from Natural Resources Wales with owners Sian and Richard Norgate and RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker|
This 1.43ha woodland is aged 3-10 years old and is about 265m above sea level within the Brecon Beacons National Park. It was planted with funding from the Wales Native Woodland Expansion Challenge to create an upland mixed broadlaved woodland with ash, oak, birch, hazel, rowan , hawthorn, alder and, in later plantings, field maple, crab apple, holly, willow and guelder rose. Its objectives include
- production of fuel - logs and charcoal
- shelter for cattle through wood pasture
- visual enhancement of the valley bottom
- creation of wildlife corridors to enhance biodiversity
- carbon sequestration
What the judges say: "At an elevation of about 265m the shelter provided by the woodlands, both for adjacent gazed fields and for the owners’ house, was very obvious when we visited on a damp, windy day. The visual impact of the increased area of broadleaved woodland in the valley bottom is already evident and will become more so in future."
What the owners say: "We are delighted to have demonstrated how our small native woodland can yield many environmental benefits, including providing wildlife habitats and wood pasture, in addition to the production of a diverse range of timber products such as bean poles, firewood and charcoal."