Poole Harbour from Arne by Sue Macpherson ARPS

Summary & Outcomes

The overall aim of the woodland creation was to develop strategically sited new woodlands higher in the catchment to enhance water quality by placing wet woodland adjacent to the rivers or on steeply sloping arable land susceptible to erosion.

At the start of the project, information was sent out to landowners highlighting the additional grant available for woodland creation in the WPNIA. An application resulted on the boundary for 60ha of new woodland. In total, 92ha of woodland creation and 19ha of wet woodland were created between 2012/15. On-going support was given to successful England Woodland Grant Scheme applicants. Thinning and under planting with native broadleaves took place in 2ha of sycamore woodland within registered parkland, and a hedge was planted to link new woodland with nearby hedges. 

Additional funding was made available to hold two training days to enable volunteers to carry out veteran tree surveys at four sites which had not previously been surveyed. Targeted lichen surveys were carried out on two sites identified as being of particular importance. One site in Purbeck is proposed for designation as an SSSI, based partly on its veteran tree interest.

Highlights and challenges 

When the England Woodland Grant Scheme was no longer available for woodland creation, interest in the woodland creation grants available reduced, so the final year budget was reallocated to the small capital grants scheme.

What next?

New woodland planting in Wild Purbeck and Poole Harbour catchment will be focussed on two potential funding avenues:

Bluebells in a woodland

One of the other Wild Purbeck NIA projects looking into Landscape Permeabilityproduced a report  which will help to guide possible  target areas  for woodland planting, in conjunction with the Forestry Commission  and Environment Agency  report  titled “Woodland for Water: woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives.

Wild Purbeck partners will continue working with the Poole Harbor Catchment Plan, particularly on woodland planting and wetland restoration, to achieve joint outcomes.

Woodlands not only provide a place for recreation and leisure but contribute to future generations by providing our children with opportunities for education and a healthier life.

Trees are part of our ecosystem services by absorbed harmful CO2, providing funds towards our economy through wood products and tourism but woodlands also have an intrinsic value and beauty of their own and form a vital part of our landscape.

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