The community of Charing have been deprived of the benefit of an area of ancient woodland with a unique wildlife environment that is sadly being threatened by extensive Ash Die Back Disease. The woodland is home to many rare species of birds, animals and plants and is normally accessible to the local community who enjoy the wildlife, nature and peace of this special place. It is now closed and will have to remain so until we can fell, the diseased trees and then commence the re-planting program. The challenge is to do this without disturbing the sensitive ecosystems that the wood supports.
What we'll deliver:
- Re-plant 105 new trees English native trees.
- Protect the new trees from small mammal damage.
- Maintain and keep clear the woodland floor whilst the tree establish
- Re-instate the fencing and boardwalks
- Re-open the woodland to the public
Why it's a great idea:
Local people will once again be able to safely access the woodland for walks and relaxation. They will also be able to resume participation in educational projects to learn about this rare environment whilst supporting the conservation of its vulnerable habitat. The recent covid restrictions have highlighted how important it is for people to have access to green space and contact with nature to promote mental wellbeing and mindfullness. The Alderbed became a haven not just for the creatures that inhabit it but also those people in need of a quiet, shaded space to reflect as well as those maintaining physical health. It is greatly missed following it's closure in July.
Steps to get it done:
- Purchase 105 6-8ft rootballed trees
- Replant the woodland and boundary hand digging all holes
- Stake and install rabbit protection around the new trees
- Remove by hand overgrowth of nettles and brambles in spring.
- Maintain a clear woodland floor until leaf canopy re-establishes
This area of rare ancient woodland has existed for over 400 years largely undisturbed by the busy world around it. It is looked after and managed by volunteers from the local area who are passionate about preserving the sensitive ecological balance that enables the many rare species which live there to thrive. This is not a question of taking down a few trees and cutting them up for firewood. A large amount of this work will be done by hand to prevent damage to the woodland habitat. One of the most difficult tasks is removing the dead wood as we can not use heavy machinery. We have already raised the funds for the felling however the task of replanting is huge and we hope to do it with young trees not whips as the shade needs to be re established as quickly as possible. The risk is that increased sunlight drying up the chalk streams that run through the wood could change the habitat for ever and some things won't survive. We need to start again to find funds for replanting, and quickly