Good Woods supports dormouse habitat in Kent woodland

posted on August 19, 2013

The Heaths Countryside Corridor received a visit from woodland advisor Mike Phillips on 14th August through the Good Woods project. The charity, local to the villages of Charing Heath and Lenham Heath in Kent, purchased Hurst Wood from the company that owns High Speed 1 after the woodland had been dissected by the building of the new railway. It was bought with the intention of allowing responsible public access and to safeguard the wildlife that has made Hurst Wood its home.

Jon Heuch (Chairman of Heaths Countryside Corridor) with dormouse sculpture and mushroom seats

Jon Heuch (Chairman of Heaths Countryside Corridor) with dormouse sculpture and mushroom seats

The woodland is unique as it comprises roughly equal areas of Ancient Semi Natural Woodland as well as newly planted secondary woodland that was planted on ancient woodland soil translocated during the construction of High Speed 1. The current management of the woodland is primarily for the dormouse which receives a high level of protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010). Dormouse survey work over recent years has shown that increasingly, dormice are now favouring the area of secondary woodland over the ancient woodland. During the visit, this phenomenon and the reason for its occurrence was discussed at length and advice was given about coppicing the ancient woodland to improve the structure and species diversity of this area that is a requirement for top quality dormouse habitat.

In Kent Good Woods is being delivered by the Kent Downs AONB Unit and the Countryside Management Partnerships. Woodland owners in Kent interested in receiving a visit should contact Mike Phillips: Mike.Phillips@kentdowns.org.uk.

Further information and advice on management in woodlands for dormouse habitat: read more

 


The Good Woods project is sponsored by B&Q with the aim of promoting good woodland stewardship. For more information contact Amy Hammond:  amy@lantern.uk.com


2 Comments

  1. Great to see some positive work from the Good Woods Project, if you live in the High and Low Weald in East and West Sussex and are interested in a Free visit Contact Matt Pitts who is delivering the Good Woods Project in that area. Email matt@highweald.info or Tel 01580 879500

    Comment by Matt Pitts — August 23, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  2. Great to see the Good Wood project in action!

    A similar situation occurred during the widening of the M2 near Junction 3, at an area called Cossington Fields, also part of the Kent North Downs AONB. Woodland habitat creation included soil removal from the ancient semi-natural woodland in meter square patches rather than through digging and then placement at the new site. Hazel was planted and coppicing has now begun.

    Dormice monitoring occurred initially while the project was funded by the Highway Authority and now about 12 years later, dormice are still present.

    Unfortunately, like in many places, the plastic planting tubes were never removed and the site could really use some maintenance.

    Comment by Kevyn Wightman — August 25, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

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