Ancient Woodland Restoration

Cumbria Active Restoration

Cumbria Woodlands is partnering with the Woodland Trust until March 2022 to deliver important ancient woodland restoration activities, funded by the DEFRA Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

The fund aims to promote environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs in England. To this end, the project is substantially improving the ecological health and robustness of important ancient woodland. Further advantages are making it easier and more economically viable for the woodland to be managed in the future, as well as generating a considerable amount of paid work for the local industry.

Cumbria Woodlands is overseeing the contractual and project management activities of restoring ancient woodland across 9 sites in Cumbria. The restoration work includes activities such as bracken control, rhododendron removal, fencing, tree planting and horse logging on over 75 ha of ancient woodland sites.

9 Sites

Restoring 9 ancient woodland sites across Cumbria

75 ha

Restoring over 75 ha of ancient woodland across Cumbria

Stanley Ghyll

Take a trip up the ghyll and see the work that has been done!

Stanley Ghyll

It would be a challenge to find a woodland site more difficult to work on than Stanley Ghyll.

Stanley Ghyll in Eskdale is a particularly challenging site, with extremely difficult access and a SSSI (site of special scientific interest) designation.

The work here involved the removal of four hectares of Rhododendron from the very steep-sided gorge. This required all material to be removed from the site, adding to the challenges of working vertically on the sides of the gorge. Once all the material was removed, the sides of the ghyll needed to be made safe and loose material removed to reduce the risk of falling debris.

This work was mainly carried out by specialist rope access contractors (Complete Access and Tree Services LTD) and had to be sensitive to the SSSI designated ancient woodland features that require protection. The work has helped secure the bryophyte features from the threat of the invasive Rhododendron ponticum.

The ecological health and robustness of this site has been greatly improved and has made future management easier while providing work for the local industry.

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