Simon’s Article – August 2019
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare”
Woodlands move slowly. Currently we are planning ahead how we want Stara Wood to look in the future and all the work that needs to be planned out over the next 25 years. Doing nothing is not an option. Stara has been actively managed as oak coppice for centuries and the conifer plantations date back well over 120 years.
Left to their own devices the conifers will out-compete the birch and oaks and the woods would become more and more shady as all the trees mature together . We might produce more timber, but we would lose much of our most valuable wildlife.
It would be wonderful to try and ‘rewild’ Stara with cattle and wild boar, but it is much too small an area to contemplate this. However, we can try and mimic the grazing effect of long extinct herbivores such as wild cattle or elk by coppicing patches of woodland and allowing these to regrow and cutting new areas every few years.
Pulling out timber with machinery disturbs the soil in a not too dissimilar way that the soil is turned over by wild boar or pigs. The bare ground is colonized by a range of plants which bring diversity to the woodland habitat. We just need to balance this habitat maintenance work with the need to keep Stara as serene and tranquil as possible