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Forestry operations at Wych Lodge

Updated 19th April 2021

Wych Lodge is a working woodland producing sustainable timber. We are working here until mid-May. This page provides more information about the work we're doing.

What is happening?

We are thinning an area of the forest equivalent to around 40 football pitches. This means we’re removing selected trees to give the rest more space and light to grow to their potential. The additional light and warmth that will reach the forest floor will also improve the habitat for ground flora and the wildlife it supports.

In the area of the forest called Piddle Wood, we’re also working to protect and preserve some very special ancient oak trees. These have stood in the forest for hundreds of years. We’re cutting back vegetation and removing some intruding trees to make sure these special veterans remain healthy.

All of the timber from Wych Lodge is certified as being sustainably produced and will support local and UK markets.

Can I still visit Wych Lodge?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. The forest is still open for you to visit but 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.

What about the wildlife?

Harvesting trees is an important part of a sustainable forest lifecycle and well managed forests support more wildlife. Wych Lodge is home to a variety of wildlife, including protected birds. 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. Some of the work we are doing will improve habitat for dormice by encouraging more shrub plant and tree growth.

Where can I find out more?

You can read our full management plan for Wych Lodge online.