Herts WoodFuel provide woodland management services to landowners interested in bringing under-managed woodlands under control
Looking after woodland, even purely for conservation, produces timber. What some regard as waste can be turned into useful valuable products such as firewood & woodfuel chip
Our woodland management aims and experience is geared around the principles of sustainable woodland management, improving its amenity value, ensuring and developing wildlife conservation and increasing biodiversity.
We are used to the challanges and considerations required to undertake work in SSSI (Sites of special scientific interest) and generally sensitive environments. Here, in particular, any woodland management activities have to include a consideration of the other species present and the woodland as a whole.
- Felling and thinning
- Gates & Fencing
- Track clearance & Creation
Opening up new tracks into amenity woodland allows owners, families and schools to gain access deep into their woodland. In commercial woodlands it gives access for timber and products extraction
Coppicing, Felling & Thinning
Coppicing is an ancient form of sustainable woodland management which makes use of the ability that some trees have to regenerate themselves when they are cut. In this system the tree is cut to ground level in the winter months and then left to regrow. When it reaches a harvestable size it is recut. This is a 'cycle' or 'rotation'. The idea is that woodland areas, known as 'cants' or 'coups' are cut sequentially. The number of these areas being the time in years for the trees to reach a harvestable size so there is always annual produce.
It provides the understorey in a woodland and is a regular and sustainable source of timber when managed properly. The most common trees to be coppiced are hazel, hornbeam, sweet chestnut, oak & willow.
Coppicing is also important for biodiversity in woodlands as the system means that there is a range across the whole woodland of trees of different ages and heights, with all the diversity of wildlife that comes with this variation.
Felling & Thinning
Where trees have been managed for timber, the standard activities of felling and thinning are part of the management plan.
When woodlands are planted the young trees are closely planted so they compete with each other and 'draw' each other up towards the light. This encourages straight growth. As the trees grow older thinning takes place periodically. The purpose is to selectively remove poor specimen trees and/or to give more space and light to those with a greater potential to grow into fine mature trees.
The thinnings can be used as firewood or converted into woodfuel chip.