It has been almost 20 years since the last round of fairly major woodland work was undertaken here at the Falls of Clyde wildlife reserve. This took place above the dipping pond and above Bonnington Weir. We have now got funding to carry out the next stage and a felling license has been granted which allows us to start work in September this year.
We will be working across the reserve, clear felling small areas of conifers and beech, and selectively thinning other areas. We are also targeting some of the conifer and beech trees that are in the designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) areas of the reserve alongside the river. The badgers and peregrines are protected by strict controls on timings and clear markers around their setts.
As a general rule, most of the conifer trees will be felled by chainsaw and extracted by winch and mini-forwarder. These logs will be sold to help cover the cost of the operations. Timber from the gorge edge trees will be retained on site and allowed to rot down, creating valuable deadwood habitat. The gaps created in the woodland canopy will allow natural regeneration of the native broad-leaved trees that we are trying to encourage. Most areas to be clear felled of conifers already have an existing understory of birch, hazel and ash already present and they will be left to grow on.
We plan to start work on the conifers in late September in the vicinity of the Peregrine Watch Site, and work our way down to the trees near the reserve entrance by late October, early November. Individual beech trees will be taken down over a longer timescale through this winter.
Any questions or concerns can be directed to Steve Blow, Reserve manager on email@example.com or 01555 665 262.
The felling is part of the wider native tree work that is part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership programme.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde
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