Although the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused human and economic suffering on an unprecedented scale in 2020, it has also provided an environmental opportunity. The forthcoming global recession means that we can recalibrate where we invest to focus on renewables and environmentally-friendly solutions. Across the world, initiatives have been focused on redressing the balance of the climate emergency for years. This crisis may speed up that process. One of the initiatives focused on this aim is woodland management and creation.
This process is an efficient and effective way of tackling the climate emergency. Planting woodland removes CO2 from the atmosphere in a cost-effective way. It also provides a range of social, economic and environmental benefits by creating jobs and encouraging native wildlife to thrive. To illustrate, creating a new native woodland can capture as much as 300-400 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere per hectare of woodland in 50 years. For landowners investing in carbon capture projects, these figures mean that not only are these projects good for the environment, but they can also be lucrative too.
Landowners can sell the rights to carbon captured by validated woodlands. This offers new, eco-friendly revenue streams for investors which can supplement other forms of income and will recoup the initial outlay of creating and managing the woodland.
Read on to discover more about woodland management, the processes involved and the importance of qualified woodland management companies in the process.
What Exactly Is Woodland Management and Creation?
The woodlands of Britain have been teeming with wildlife for millennia. From heathland, moorland, ancient woodland and broadleaved woodland, the United Kingdom has a huge variety of woodland to be proud of. In the past, woodland management would have occurred naturally via the grazing of large animals and though natural processes like storms. However, the density and volume of woodland areas in the UK have drastically reduced since the last ice age. This means that woodland must be actively created, managed and maintained to ensure we can protect our native wildlife.
Woodland creation is the process of using land to create new woodlands. Backed by the government, grants are given to farmers and landowners who want to plant, weed and protect young trees and create a woodland area. Often this process is overseen by woodland management companies, like Woodland Creation Scotland, that can help apply for grants and manage the process.
Woodland management is the process of maintaining recently planted or already-established woodlands. These management processes are designed to ensure the ongoing health of woodland and to provide the best habitat possible for wildlife.
Some Woodland Management Processes
There is a range of processes involved in woodland management. Some of these traditional processes date back for many centuries and were used to provide settlers with a consistent source of firewood and structural materials. Here we detail just a few woodland management processes.
Coppicing is one of the aforementioned woodland management processes which was used by our ancestors to provide them with a consistent source of firewood and structural material. This type of woodland management was used as early as the beginning of the Early Middle Ages. Coppicing involves the cyclical cutting back of trees and shrubs to the base of their trunks during the winter. In the spring, new stems grow back from the cut stumps and, over years, small round branches grow up which can be used in structural projects and for firewood.
This traditional woodland management process can extend the lifespan of a tree and ensures that it remains healthy and a fruitful source of timber. Coppicing can also stimulate the growth of wildflowers by opening a channel for sunlight to reach the forest floor. This growth of flowering plants then provides a habitat for insects, birds and small mammals to thrive.
Open Area Management
Although thick foliaged areas of woodland are vital, it’s also important to have open areas like glades, rides and scallops. These edge areas create an excellent melting pot for a range of species via the important mix of sunlight and shelter. Open areas must be managed to ensure they don’t grow back over; a process which is often taken over by woodland management companies like Woodland Creation Scotland.
Rides – a linear path which cuts through a forest – should be maintained on an annual basis at the end of summer. Glades provide a habitat for insects to thrive and so should be kept open but with enough perimeter shelter from large trees. A scallop is a semi-circle area which is positioned on the edge of a pathway which has been cleared of trees. These areas provide space for smaller plants, like herbs, grasses and shrubs, to grow in. Again, these areas need to be properly maintained by forestry management companies to ensure they don’t grow back over.
Thinning trees is a simple forest management solution which allows the woodland area to remain healthy. By simply removing overcrowded or diseased trees, thinning ensures that the other trees in the area are strengthened. This process, like coppicing, also allows light to access the forest floor and encourages the growth of flowers.
The Role of Deadwood
Deadwood should not always be removed from a woodland area. Unless it may pose a threat to walkers, deadwood should be left as it can provide a habitat for many animals. As part of a woodland management service, woodland management companies may stack up coppicing timber to create a deadwood area. Similarly, when a dead tree falls, it’s an idea to leave it intact as this will provide a much better habitat and source of food for animals, fungus and moss.
What Is The Role of a Woodland Company In Woodland Management?
As mentioned previously, forestry management companies are often involved in the woodland creation and management process. Farmers or landowners who want to create a woodland area will often work with a woodland company to provide woodland management and creation services.
A woodland company, like Woodland Creation Scotland, can advise owners and purchasers on the various tax benefits of woodland creation, how a woodland will capture carbon and help secure government grants for funding. Beginning with a site assessment and guidance, a woodland company will then be able to provide a comprehensive service of establishing and maintaining the land via some of the processes discussed above. The woodland management services provided by forestry management companies are critical to the nation-wide effort of re-growing our native woodlands.
Woodland Creation Scotland: One of The Leading Woodland Management Companies In Scotland
Here at Woodland Creation Scotland, we understand the vital role that the creation of woodlands has on the environment. As a specialist woodland management service, we offer a comprehensive forestry management provision from start to finish. We can assist in everything from the identification and purchase of land to the establishment of woodland and the necessary ongoing maintenance of the land. Our woodland management service includes a full site assessment, guidance, grant applications, carbon credit marketing and more.
We’re one of the leading forestry management companies in Scotland. Based in Perth, we’re ideally located to help you establish woodland on your property. If you’ve been looking for woodland management companies in Scotland to provide you with a woodland management service, look no further! We’d be happy to discuss how we can help. Check out some of our current projects to see what we’re already working on.
To find out more about us, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at Durn, Isla Road, Perth PH2 7HG. Alternatively, call us on 01738 442 903 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.