Looking after our woodlands: the Woodland Welfare project

Alice Singleton

A large portion of our woodlands are suffering with a fungal disease called Ash Dieback.

The history

Before the Lancashire Wildlife Trust purchased Brockholes, when it was a sand and gravel quarry, trees were planted as a screen to block out sound; there was no thought given to the species of tree or the longevity of the woodland. 

Planting one species in excess is not good for biodiversity and unfortunately, most of the trees planted in certain woodland areas of Brockholes were Ash.

What is Ash dieback?

We now have the issue of Ash dieback to deal with; a fungal disease spread through European Ash trees and is thought to have caused the death of around 90% of the Ash trees in the UK.

Ash dieback leaves

What does Ash dieback look like?

The most obvious way to notice Ash dieback is the reduction of leaves from the top of the tree. What should be a big, green, leafy tree, turns very bare and sparce. This is easy to see in large woodland areas. The tree branches become unsafe and this is obviously an issue for visitors.

The conservation team started to notice the beginnings of this at Brockholes a few years ago, and so, applied for funding for a Woodland Welfare project to help deal with the issue before the problem expands.

What is the Woodland Welfare Project?

The project will allow conservation staff to readdress the woodlands. Once the problematic Ash trees have been dealt with, we will be able to plant different, native, species of trees to improve the biodiversity of the woodlands. We will also have a lot of timber we can sell, in order to raise funds for vital conservation work on the nature reserve.

More information about the Woodland Welfare Project coming soon...

 

Here's Tom with more information...

Tom explains a new Woodland Welfare Project and why it is important to save our woodlands from being taken over by Ash dieback.

And here's Lorna with an update...

Since the introduction to the Woodland Welfare project, Lorna and the team have been busy dealing with the Ash Dieback in the woodland and processing the wood to raise vital funds to ensure the continuation of conservation work at Brockholes. Here's Lorna with an update.