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Forestry operations at Core Copse, East Hill

Updated 8th September 2020

Core Copse at East Hill is a working woodland producing sustainable timber. We will be working here from August until late October 2020. This page provides more information about the work we're doing.

What is happening?

Some of the woodland at Core Copse has reached maturity and the trees are ready to be cut down for timber. These trees will be clear felled, which is when we remove all the trees at once. A small number of dead trees will be left standing to provide habitat for invertebrates and bats, and perches for birds of prey. When the ground has rested for a year or two, we will replant new trees. A mixture of species will make the forest more resilient against pests, disease, and climate change. We will also support any trees that regenerate naturally, such as beech and birch, as these create an even richer and more diverse forest habitat. Look out for rare ground nesting birds that are likely to make use of the clearfell next year.

Other areas of the wood will be thinned. This means removing selected trees to allow the remaining ones to grow to their full potential. Thinning also allows more light to reach the forest floor, which improves the habitat for ground flora and the other wildlife it supports.

Can I still visit East Hill?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. East Hill is still open for you to visit, but please follow all signs, diversions and closures at all times. These are for your safety, whether or not you can see or hear us working. This will help us to finish working as quickly as possible. Forestry work is very hazardous. A falling tree can weigh several tonnes and hit the ground at nearly 60mph. If a harvesting machine chainsaw snaps, it can fly through the forest like a bullet.

What about the wildlife?

Well managed forests are able to support more wildlife, and harvesting trees is an important part of a sustainable forest lifecycle. Before we start any forestry work, we carry out thorough ecological surveys to check for species such as birds, mammals, rodents, invertebrates, flora, and fungi. We also consider these against complex factors including tree health, how the ground slopes, soil condition, and likely rainfall when planning work that will support our long-term management plan. While working, we continue to check for wildlife and will adapt, pause or suspend work if we find any animal that must be protected.

Where can I find out more?

You can read our full management plan for East Hill in the East Devon Forest Plan.