May 31 2022

Milling opportunities out of disaster at Martinshaw

Over at Martinshaw Wood, Leicestershire, our contractor Robin has been busy working with Site Manager David Logan to deal with a large oak which was recently damaged in a storm. The oak was hanging across a footpath, so not only did it need to be moved, but a decision had to be made about what to do with it next. Often any trees that are brought down by storms are already weakened, so these may be left on the woodland floor to rot down and provide valuable, dead-wood habitat. However, this oak looked to be in decent condition, so the decision was taken to fell the tree and Robin devised a plan to put the stem to good use. Bringing in his portable mill, he turned the timber into 4 sets of styles and some fencing, all of which have been installed at neighbouring Pear Tree Wood 



As part of the Ancient Woodland Restoration (AWR) work at Martinshaw Wood, some of the trees are thinned, but this is only once a strict set of assessments have been followed. The decision to remove trees is not taken lightly and they are never felled at random. The wood harvested from one of the oaks felled as part of this process was used by Robin to create bird and bat nesting boxes, all of which were taking to Top Wood in Swadlincote.  


Robin is an experienced contractor and forester and has worked with the Woodland Trust for many years. His resourcefulness has helped us to turn timber into useful objects which will help wildlife, help keep the wood safe and support people’s visits to the wood. In this way the oak tree, and other trees felled as part of necessary AWR work live on, providing necessary infrastructure at Pear Tree Wood, Top Wood and across other sites.  


Robin, David and our brilliant Martinshaw woodland working group volunteers work together to deliver the objectives of the site’s management plan. During spring and summer we have to be really careful with the type of practical conservation activity we carry out to ensure our work doesn’t have a negative impact on nesting birds and other wildlife. We don’t want to undo our good work to make the woodland the best it can be for wildlife but scaring it off! Minimising the disruption is paramount, so that is why many of our woodland working groups scale back or completely stop, resuming their operations in October.  



Thanks to Robin, David and the volunteer team at Martinshaw! 


Feature image: Richard Faulks / WTML

Image of style: Robin

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