Work to transform a 0.5 hectare area of Tarman’s Copse in Bracknell is due to start in September. This is part of the council's plan to rejuvenate the woodland.
Tarman’s Copse is a 9.68 hectare (24 acre) area of ancient woodland in Jennett’s Park. The woodland, which contains mostly sweet chestnut and ash trees, has historically been managed by coppicing. This is a form of traditional woodland management practice that involves cutting trees down to the ground and allowing them to re-shoot.
The practice of coppicing helps to extend the life of trees and provides a sustainable supply of timber. It also increases woodland biodiversity by allowing more sunlight to reach the ground, allowing other species to live there.
Coppicing ceased within Tarman’s Copse many decades ago, before it was in the council’s ownership. This led to a high proportion of the trees growing to a uniform age and size. The work will help to produce a more diverse environment in which wildlife can thrive. The management work will also help to deal with any problem/ill trees caused by Ash dieback, which has been recorded in the woodland.
The tree work has been approved by a felling license from the Forest Commission. It is expected to take place over 2 weeks, depending on suitable weather conditions.
Cllr Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection, said:
“The management is part of our 30-year plan to rejuvenate Tarman’s Copse. The coppicing will take place in the woodland with one compartment done every three years.
“We are carrying out the work outside of bird breeding season to limit any impact to wildlife. We are also temporarily closing areas of the site to maintain public safety. Please don’t cross any safety barriers or tape and stay away from machinery, tools or equipment. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.
“I appreciate that the visual impact from the initial coppicing work may initially seem quite dramatic, but I’d like to reassure our residents that the work is necessary to manage the woodland, so it can continue to be a great place for people and wildlife.
“We will be using some of the cut timber to provide new deadwood habitats for organisms including beetles and fungi. To aid the regeneration of the woodland we will also be restocking with native trees such as oak, hazel, field maple, hawthorn and wild service tree. We’re due to carry out the first lot of tree planting in the autumn and winter of 2022.”