Over the past 2 months we have been working on a multi phase tree felling project for the Dorset wildlife trust. The project is designed to return wooded areas back to heath land, with the addition of re-profiling work on ditches to create a mire and the beginnings of anaerobic conditions.
Phase one has seen two main areas of over stood gorse, birch, willow, and alder all removed to make way for heath land flora such as heather and dwarf gorse, which will provide habitat for reptiles such as smooth snakes, sand lizards and ground nesting birds. Trees and scrub material were felled by hand cutters and also with a forestry harvester and excavator with tree shear.
The brash was burned on site as access routes were within a SSSI and weather conditions during January and February meant that a low impact approach was required. Hauling wood chip away was not an option.
Timber from the trees felled was ‘snedded’, processed and cut to length ready for firewood and biomass. This will be extracted when ground conditions allow.
Follow up treatment will be applied to stumps in the summer when we will use our ATV and spraying rig to apply glyphosate. This will control any re growth and ensure that heather has a chance to get established without competition from trees and gorse.
The next phase of the project will see ditching work carried out, before more felling work when bird nesting season finishes at the end of the summer.