PAWS are defined as woodland sites which contain evidence of former ancient woodland and which have subsequently been planted with non-native trees. The overall goal of this project is to restore these sites to their former condition which will have numerous benefits to the woodland and the wider environment.
Restoration can generally be broken down into three steps, removing threats to ancient woodland features, manipulating species and canopy to move towards native woodland cover and finally, enhancing the site by adding or promoting certain features that are missing from the habitat.
All 195ha of PAWS have been surveyed in detail to identify the ancient woodland features we want to protect, the threats that are affecting them, and the most appropriate way to improve the woodland. Work is currently underway to mitigate or remove threats throughout the PAWS areas, with particular emphasis on the most critical areas and most serious threats. This work will continue till the end of the project gradually improving the woodland and moving towards a native habitat.
The next step is to conduct further surveying of PAWS areas to find out what features are missing and why. Further enhancement works will be planned based on this and long term adaptive management planning will be put in place to increase the woodlands biodiversity and resilience to future threats.