Forestry operations at Davidstow Woods

Forestry operations at Davidstow Woods

Updated 29th February 2024

Davidstow Wood is a working woodland producing sustainable timber. We are working here from February for several months. This page explains the work we are doing.

What is happening?

Across a large area of the forest where trees are growing densely, we are thinning them. This means removing selected trees to give the remaining ones more space and light to grow to their potential. Thinning also allows more light to reach the forest floor, which improves the habitat for ground flora and the wildlife it supports.

We are also clearing some patches of storm damaged trees, where they have blown over, and some small areas where the trees have all reached maturity.

Can I still visit Davidstow Wood?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. Davidstow Woods is open to visitors throughout the forestry work but there might be times when we need to close or divert tracks in the forest so we can work safely nearby.

It is essential for the safety of our visitors, staff, contractors, and volunteers that everyone follows all signs, diversions, and closures at all times, whether or not you can see or hear us working. 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 sustainable forest management and well managed forests support more wildlife. 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. This enables us to identify ecological constraints such as the presence of European Protected Species and Schedule 1 protected birds, which affect the time of year when certain operations can be carried out.

We consider our findings against complex factors including tree health, how the ground slopes, soil condition, and likely rainfall when planning forestry work. While working, we continue to check for wildlife and adapt, pause, or suspend work if necessary.

Where can I find out more?

You can read our full management plan for Davidstow Woods in the Bodmin Forest Plan.