• Restoration of ancient woodland can be a tricky task in Cumbria.

    Steep ground and sensitive sites add to the usual constraints of everyday forest operations.

    This short film, “The log chute” gives an example of how timber can be extracted, thus lessening the impact of the forest operations and enabling nature to bounce back.

    Log Chute from HDDN on Vimeo.

  • 06 March 2018

    The Red List of Fraxinus

    The Red List of Fraxinus
    Published by Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

    This global study puts Fraxinus excelsior on the “near threatened” status, due to ash dieback. Contained in the paper are several recommendations:

    Assess and preserve Fraxinus genetic diversity
    Control and mitigation of the impact of Emerald Ash Borer as well as ash dieback
    Research and development into breeding programs for resistance, with potential introduction into wild populations
    Quarantine processes to be extended to prevent/reduce movement of infected wood
    Increase the use of the International Plant Sentinel Network in the fight against plant pests and diseases.


    Find the download link below.


    How do you think we are performing in the UK against these recommendations? Let us know on www.facebook.com/cumbriawoodlands

  • West Cumbria Water Supplies Planting Fund

    Are you keen to plant trees, hedges or woodlands in West Cumbria? If so we want to hear from you!

    United Utilities have funds available to plant of trees, hedges and woodlands in the valleys surrounding the West Cumbria Water Supplies Project. The fund has been established to off-set the loss of trees and woodland as a result of the water supplies project construction. The funding can be used for plants, planting, fencing and materials to protect the planting along with support for work to involve local communities where appropriate.

    Your scheme needs to do the following:
    • Fit with the landscape – fit the existing pattern and landform, reinforcing local landscape character
    • Benefit wildlife – enhancing the local area for wildlife by connecting and increasing suitable woodland and tree habitat
    • Protect the environment – by retaining soils and avoiding runoff that can harm local streams and rivers.
    • Involve and engage the local community – supporting action by local communities to improve and enhance their local landscapes

    Cumbria Woodlands will work with land owners and communities to help them develop their ideas for schemes to plant new trees, hedges and woodlands. Please contact us on 01539 792618 or email info@cumbriawoodlands.co.uk if you want to discuss your ideas and arrange a visit.

    More scheme details are in the downloadable pdf document at the bottom of this page.

  • The Ash Conference was a roaring success, with a huge amount of content to be shared and knowledge to be gained. For those who couldn't make it or would like the content as a further resource we now have the presentations available on Youtube.

    Barnaby Wylder

    Matt Elliot

    Iben Margrete Thomsen

    Vikki Bengtsson


    Matt Parratt

  • ash dieback
    Caption: Severe ash dieback in Denmark

    Forest management with ash dieback- Summary from Iben Margrete Thomsen's presentation at the Cumbria Woodlands’ ash conference

    The much-quoted statistic (in the UK) that >90% of Denmark’s ash trees have been killed by ash dieback is WRONG! In fact, 90% of Denmark’s ash trees in forests show signs of infection, but it is mainly young stands that die. For ash trees outside forest settings (e.g. park land, urban, pasture) the situation is quite different, as only a small proportion are severely affected, and large old trees cope well with the disease.

    This vulnerability of woodland ash is because the conditions in (cool, moist) are more conducive to ash dieback infection, and because of the presence of honey fungus, which often kills the trees as a secondary infection.
    Young trees are by far the most at risk. This is because of their smaller girth and thinner, smoother bark, which is more vulnerable to infection around the root collar.

    Once a forest tree is affected by ash dieback, it will cease to add any significant girth to the trunk, because all its energy will go into replacing the canopy and fighting honey fungus.

    Diseased trees may be left standing, but once epicormic growth appears on the main stem/trunk, the fungus will rapidly enter and stain the wood of the trunk, causing economic loss for the forest owner.

    The initial rate of death from the infection throughout the UK may seem rapid and alarming. This is because the young and highly susceptible trees will die, and trees that are already stressed succumb fast. Trees avoiding this initial wave may linger for decades, and this will give woodland managers some breathing space to initiate strategies for replacement of affected ash trees and stands.

    In order to identify truly tolerant individuals, it is necessary to allow for at least 10 years of incessant infection pressure. Before this time, trees may show a varying degree of tolerance, but most will eventually develop dieback symptoms and decline. It is important to retain ash stands until the few percent truly tolerant trees stand out, so they can be selected for breeding.

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