Thanks to funding from Welsh Government for support management on our Natura 2000 sites, just before spring began we completed a combination woodland management at Kilvrough Manor Woods.
The work to both address the ash dieback and other tree safety work along with delivering other habitat benefits. It is designed to eventually make the woodland more structurally diverse and better for biodiversity whilst delivering less roadside safety liability. We also used this opportunity to increase the amount of deadwood habitat, one if the designated features the site is failing on.
The Trust will be monitoring natural regeneration to see which species fill the gaps left by the death of the ash trees, after monitoring we will consider the need for any enrichment planting. We also carried out planting of hazel, thorn and small-leaved lime behind the Old Forge where we removed a block of beech plantation 3yrs ago. In time this will be managed as coppice.
In addition to the tree work and planting work we have been working through the woods eradicating the invasive rhododendron, cherry laurel, spotted laurel and lonicera nitida. In future years the Trust will control bramble (where it begins to dominate due to increased light levels, this will be done by cutting it back) to protect and enhance the woodland ground flora.
This was a challenging project delivered in a very short time scale! Due to the double impact of corona virus and ash dieback it was difficult to secure contractors.
The Trust would like to give credit to the contractors who delivered this work. Arborculture carried out the roadside work and Secret Ingredients the undertook to invasive non-native species (INNS) work and planting. Both companies worked diligently with an awareness and understanding of the important qualities of this site ensuring the best habitat outcomes possible with minimum impact!
If you would like to find out more on The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales' approach to ash dieback, click here for more information.
Paul Thornton, Senior WTSWW Officer