Many small woodlands are dominated by tall, thin trees fighting for light. These create dense shade near the ground and restrict the range of plants that can flourish. We fell trees selectively to allow light in, promote sturdier tree growth and encourage a wider range of wildlife habitats. We also deal with storm-damaged trees to reduce the danger of falling trees and branches. Whatever the reason for felling, the resulting trunks and branches are cut into manageable lengths and stacked tidily for seasoning.
Wherever appropriate, we plant new trees. On the edge of woodlands these form natural boundary hedges and with careful management in the future will add to the diversity of the woodlands as a whole. For more on tree planting, search "Stump Up For Trees" website.
Keeping bees has become a significant area of activity in recent years… We manage a number of hives and sell honey, mead and beeswax products.
Active management means working in harmony with woodlands, restoring their natural multi-layered structure and creating the ideal conditions for a rich mix of plant, animal, bird and insect life. We are developing habitats that support pollinating insects and have now established honeybee colonies in one of the woodlands.
Clearing invasive plants:
Cherry laurel, rhododendron, snow-berry and Himalayan balsam have spread aggressively in parts of the woodlands we manage, crowding out native plants and reducing wildlife habitat. We work to eradicate the invaders, and then replant cleared areas with native species.
A four-year project partnership has developed along the pathways of the River Usk with the warden team from Brecon Beacons National Park.
In the past few years we have managed several small woodlands on behalf of their owners in the Llangattock and Crickhowell area. Currently, in partnership with Canal & River Trust and The Woodland Trust, most of our activity is concentrated on a couple of their small woodlands that border the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal. Since 2008 we have had a close relationship with Llangattock Green Valleys with whom we share an aim to promote sustainable energy. In particular, we process felled timber into woodfuel and charcoal, which we sell in the local area.
Expansion of wild flower meadow growth.
Bee product value.