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West Dean News

Forestry Operations in Parkhill

Forestry Operations in Parkhill

We will be harvesting in Parkhill Inclosure, near Bream, Whitecroft and Parkend from December 2021.

The works will impact some of our trails and access points, this page provides more information about the work we are doing and why.

What is happening?

This is part of the same work contract that began a while back. The first part was felling the trees alongside the powerlines in co-ordination with Western Power. The contract then paused whilst a buyer was found for the timber. This contract is now live again and will continue throughout the winter into Spring 2022. The area highlighted green in the map below will be thinned to favour broadleaved species, in line with the West England Forest District Forest Plan.

Download the map: Parkhill MoP map

The timber produced by this operation will provide a source of sustainable timber for use in the construction and furniture industries, for example. Some crown wood will be left on site as wildlife habitat and to return nutrients to the soil, this is known as ‘dead wood.’

The works are due to continue throughout Winter 2021-2022. It will hopefully be completed by April 2022. The work will be weekdays only. You will notice a significant operational presence in the woodland with banks persons, harvesting machinery, signage and timber stacks. We do our best to use existing extraction routes to minimise the damage to the forest floor and soil structure, which is inevitable with the scale of machinery that must be used. This will be reinstated where necessary on completion of the work.

Harvesting contracts can sometimes be quite drawn out and work may stop for some time due to the many constraints that we have to work around. So please bear with us as we carry out this work with the aim of minimising inconvenience to all site users.


Will you be replanting?

The area that is being thinned will not be replanted. However, this work will aid the cycle of continual regeneration over a long time and is the lifeblood of any forest and woodland ecosystem. Maintaining this cycle without loss is the basis of sustainable forest management. In British forests, harvesting timber is an essential part of the cycle, as it makes space for regrowth and develops robust, healthy and diverse forest areas.

Can I still visit this woodland?

Yes – the woodland will remain open throughout our harvesting operations, the most important thing for us is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. We will have safety and operational signage displayed, diversions, closures, and banks persons in position where needed. This is for your safety, whether you can see or hear us working, it is important you read and listen to all instructions very carefully and obey all instruction.

Forestry work is very hazardous. A falling tree can weigh several tonnes and hit the ground at nearly 60mph. If a harvesting machine chainsaw snaps, it can fly through the forest like a bullet.

What about the wildlife?

Well managed forests are able to support more wildlife, and harvesting trees is an important part of a sustainable forest lifecycle. Before we start any forestry work, we carry out ecological surveys to check for species such as birds, mammals, rodents, invertebrates, native plants such as bluebells and fungi. We also consider these against complex factors including tree health, how the ground slopes, soil condition, and likely rainfall when planning work that will support our long-term management plan. While working, we continue to check for wildlife and will adapt, pause or suspend work if we find any animal that must be protected.

If you would like any further information, please get in touch via