Rowberrow Warren Forest Plan
Rowberrow Warren is a leased wood and lies in the West of the Mendip Hills in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Rowberrow is a little over 2 miles north of Cheddar and 6 1/2 miles as the crow flies south-east from J21 of the M5 for Weston-Super-Mare.
Rowberrow is not an ancient woodland site and comprises of 220Ha of mixed woodland, originally planted in the 1940s-50s on previously open ground consisting of acid grassland and heath. The site enjoys freely draining mineral soil averaging 800mm of rainfall per year. Parts of the wood are elevated and exposed with the highest point being 290m giving rise to its prominent and highly visible position within the landscape and as a result, the wood has a high wind blow risk on the higher slopes with poor form resulting from the wind especially in Beech stands, where squirrel damage is also apparent.
The 2003-2013 plan period saw the process of restructuring Rowberrow begin to transform the wood from one that used to be very dense with very little open space to one with a much higher proportion of well integrated open space that has bought in a higher degree of ecological benefit 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.
The main threads for the 2014-2024 plan are to:
· Conclude reordering broadleaves and conifers to better suited sites through continued sustainable timber production - process begun in the 2003-2013 plan.
· Improve the quality, quantity & sustainability of integrated open space, especially along ride edges.
· Begin improving future resilience and diversity by starting to plant a wider variety of tree species.