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Forestry operations at Northcombe

Updated 19th January 2021

Nothcombe is a working woodland producing sustainable timber. We are working here from January 2021 until April 2021. This page provides more information about the work we're doing.

What is happening?

In some areas of the wood, sections of trees have been affected by spruce bark beetle. This has weakened them, and they have started to blow over. Spruce bark beetle damages the tree bark, but not the wood inside. If we harvest these trees now, the sustainable timber can still be used.

In other areas of the forest, we are thinning the trees. This means removing selected trees to give the rest more space to grow to their potential, and to let more light onto the forest floor. This improves the habitat for ground flora and the wildlife it supports.

While we’re working, we will also remove some conifer trees that are growing around veteran broadleaf trees and open up some more space near the watercourses in the forest, which will improve habitats for wildlife.

Can I still visit Northcombe?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. Northcombe is closed to all public access during this work. Please follow all signs 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.

Why not explore Cookworthy Forest or Witherdon Wood instead?

What about the wildlife?

Harvesting trees is an important part of a sustainable forest lifecycle and well managed forests support more wildlife. Northcombe is home to a variety of wildlife, including protected birds, badgers, dormice, and bats. 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 consider these findings 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.

We will continue to check for wildlife while working 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 Northcombe online.