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Rowberrow Warren Forest Plan

About

Rowberrow Warren is a leased wood on the western side of the Mendip Hills, a little over 2 miles north of Cheddar, in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Rowberrow is not an ancient woodland site and comprises 220 hectares of mixed woodland, originally planted in the 1940s-50s on previously open ground consisting of acid grassland and heath. The site has freely draining mineral soil, and averages 800mm of rainfall per year. Parts of the wood are elevated and exposed, so it has a prominent and highly visible position within the landscape and as a result, a high wind blow risk on the upper slopes with poor form resulting from the wind, especially in beech stands, where squirrel damage is also apparent. 

During the 2003-2013 plan period, the process of restructuring Rowberrow began to transform the wood from one that was very dense with little open space, to one with a much higher proportion of well-integrated open space, which has led to ecological benefits for species such as the long-eared owl and ground nesting birds such as nightjar, as well as butterflies, moths and reptiles, whilst maintaining a healthy level of timber productivity.

What we’ll do

The main proposals for the 2014-2024 plan are to:

  • conclude the reordering of broadleaves and conifers to better suited sites, through continued sustainable timber production and restocking;
  • improve the quality, quantity & sustainability of integrated open space, especially along ride edges;
  • begin to improve future resilience and diversity by planting a wider variety of tree species.