Silk Wood panels audio description - restoring natural woodland at Westonbirt Arboretum

Photo is an area view of Silk Wood at Westonbirt, looking down at the lush green canopy of the ash woodlands.

Restoring natural woodland

It is important to get the balance right – to plant native trees that restore the heritage of this woodland, whilst securing the future of the arboretum in the face of climate change.

Discussions between on-site specialists, Forest Research and Forestry England’s Delamere nursery have led to a list of recommended species that ensure resilience. All decisions are made in relation to our approved woodland management plan.

A broad range of over 20 suitable species will be planted. Most of the trees we are planting are native to the UK, including English oak, field maple and hawthorn. Some non-natives from a southernly origin will also be selected to mitigate against a changing climate.

Woodlands like Silk Wood, that have been defined on maps since 1600 in England, are considered ancient woodland. Hundreds of years of growth and adaptation creates rich soils which help to support a rich network of flora and fauna.