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The ecological and botanical surveys carried out in 2012 confirm the variety of plant and animal life in Brineddin Wood. Wildlife does not recognize quillet boundaries. Each quillet is an important part of the whole wood, and each one contributes to the overall variety.
The Society wants its management of quillet 2879 to improve what is already there. It does not have the funds for large-scale management, nor would it want to do this. The focus is on helping what is there to do better. Small-scale practical work has results.
Pollarding ancient hazel clumps has already brought more light into the woods. This is helping woodland plants previously restricted to the edge of the wood to spread. The hazels were at the end of their natural life and pollarding is an attempt to rejuvenate them. New growth has emerged from the stumps, known as stools, but it is attracting wildlife such as rabbits, deer and grey squirrel (which was not the intention) so we are using some of the cut wood to make barriers to protect the stumps. There will need to be a longer term solution to protect against deer damage. We are also using pollarded timber to create deadwood stacks as homes for insects.
At the top of the steps is a small grassy glade. We are considering a suggestion to improve this. It can be done by ring-barking weaker oak trees so as to create standing deadwood that will allow more light into this part of the quillet for the benefit of plants, and provide homes for more wildlife, such as invertebrates and the woodpeckers that may follow.
We also need to plant new oak trees; most of the trees are the same age but it’s important for woodland to have a mixed age range of trees. We will be considering how this should be best done, but advice given so far suggests creating a small off-site nursery for the oak seedlings that emerge in the spring. At the moment plenty of acorns germinate, but die off in the first year due to lack of light. When trees fall naturally, or if we take one or two down, we can then plant the seedlings which by then will have become saplings.