Work on the restoration of 24 hectares of Dorset ancient woodland is progressing well. This woodland has not been managed since the 1960's and I have just submitted the last of this years felling licence applications so that thinning work can be carried out over the winter. I have also applied for £55,000 in grants under the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) to be paid for restoration work over the next 5 years, so this woodland stands an excelent chance of being restored to its full potential in terms of coppice craft material and timber production, combined with the creation and maintenance of the important habitats that this type of woodland supports.
I am due to be spending the next two weeks in and around Dartmoor carrying out National Forest Inventory (NFI) surveys on behalf of the Forestry Commission. I have spent a large amount of time over the last few years working on this contract and have surveyed around 500 different woodland throughout the south-west of England and south Wales. This is an extremely comprehensive survey and data collected is used by numerous different agencies, including those in the forestry and timber industries, nature conservation, ecology and biodiversity organisations and those involved in protecting forest health. It is also used by government and non-government agencies who are responsible for formulating forestry policies and by public and private investors.
6 weeks were also spent surveying specifically for symptoms of ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) when the news of the disease first broke in the UK.
One of my associates, David Browning of DB Forestry Ltd, carries out these surveys in the southern England area.
More details can be found at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/inventory