Management

 

Grove Piece Management Plan

Updated November 2017

Factual Summary

Map reference                       TM418756

Field number                                     527

Area                                        2.244 acres

Access                                     Open to the public via Vicarage Grove

History

Arable field planted with cereals in recent years. Owned by the Town Estate Church Charity and leased to a local farmer until autumn 2016. Mature hedges on three sides.

Ecological Value

The area is of low ecological value apart from the mature hedges containing a good variety of species. (See appendix)

Objectives

To provide a community woodland for education, recreation, wildlife and the production of woodland resources.

To extend woodland beyond the existing ancient woodland in Vicarage Grove and create a mixed woodland by a combination of planting see appendix for list of species (using where possible material of local provenance) and natural regeneration within 10 years. Common ash Fraxinus excelsior although abundant in both the hedgerows and Vicarage Grove will not be planted because of the disease Chalara fraxinia but any naturally regenerating trees will be allowed to grow and their growth monitored.

To increase ecological connectivity and diversity within the parish of Wenhaston.

To create a permissive path network within wide rides to join with Vicarage Grove and the public footpath network.

Vision

The arable field will be developed into a community woodland in as natural way as possible. The woodland will be established using a combination of natural regeneration from seed rain coming from Vicarage Grove, trees grown and planted by the local primary school and community planting of trees from other sources where appropriate. Tree saplings will be protected initially from deer browsing using tree shelters.

The existing hedgerows will be allowed to expand into the field to provide a scrub layer and scrub species will be planted on the ride edges to enable a layered vegetation structure to develop.

The ground flora will be established using natural regeneration augmented by green hay and seed obtained from local woodlands with a similar soil type. Ruderal weeds will be controlled to prevent dominance and spreading to neighbouring land.

Wide sinuous rides will be established to provide a significant proportion of open space which will benefit wildlife and provide access for walkers and open air teaching areas for the primary school. Connecting to Vicarage Grove the woodland foot path network will be doubled in size.

A pond will be dug to provide a freshwater feature. This will complement the existing adjacent ponds which are in need of restoration. In time, hopefully the group of ponds which are on neighbouring land can be restored on rotation ensuring there is always one pond within the area that is in optimal condition.

An information board will be erected to inform visitors of the features of the site and acknowledge the various funders.

10-year Plan from 2016 to 2026

Year 1. September 2016 to September 2017

Survey the field – drainage, soil types, flora and fauna. Data from this will inform the final plan
Take fixed point photos.
Provide interpretation board explaining vision of the project
Determine planting areas.
Establish ride and path network. Obtain green hay from suitable donor sites to increase floral diversity
Start school planting and woodland activities.
Start scrub planting.
Start planting in main compartment
Annual review of management plan and site risk assessment.

Year 2. September 2017 to September 2018

Take fixed point photography
Provide protection to a selection of regenerating trees.
Create a pond and small osier bed.
Install bird boxes on hedgerow trees.
Continue school planting and woodland activities.
Continue scrub planting.
Continue planting in main compartment.
Maintain paths and rides by mowing paths 3-4 times a year and alternate sides of the rides every second year.
Weed tree guards.
Take fixed point photos.
Annual review of management plan and site risk assessment.

Year 3. September 2018 to September 2019

Select and protect regenerated trees.
Continue school planting and woodland activities.
Continue scrub planting.
Assess regeneration in main compartment and continue planting if necessary.
Maintain paths and rides by mowing paths 3-4 times a year and alternate sides of the rides every second year.
Weed tree guards and replace any losses. Remove tree guards where appropriate.
Take fixed point photos.
Monitor and maintain bird boxes.
Provide protection to a selection of regenerating trees.
Annual review of management plan and site risk assessment.

Year 4. September 2019 to September 2020

Construct simple seating for meeting area.
Continue school planting and woodland activities.
Continue scrub planting.
Continue planting in main compartment if necessary.
Maintain pond and osier bed
Maintain paths and rides by mowing paths 3-4 times a year and alternate sides of the rides every second year.
Weed tree guards and replace losses. Remove tree guards where appropriate.
Take fixed point photos.
Monitor and maintain bird boxes.
Provide protection to a selection of regenerating trees.
Annual review of management plan and site risk assessment.

Years 5 to 10            2020 to 2026

Annual tasks

Maintain pond and osier bed
Maintain paths and rides by mowing paths 3-4 times a year and alternate sides of the rides every second year.
Remove tree guards if levels of deer damage allow.
Take fixed point photos.
Monitor and maintain bird boxes.
Provide protection to a selection of regenerating trees.
Weeding, mulching and woodland activities for school pupils.
Annual review of management plan and site risk assessment.

Outline plan of the wood

grove piece map

Appendix

Species list of trees and shrubs in existing hedgerows and boundary of Vicarage Grove

English oak                 Quercus robur
Ash                         Fraxinus excelsior
Holly                       Ilex aquifolium
Field maple                 Acer campestre
Hornbeam                   Carpinus betulus
Blackthorn                  Prunus spinosa
Common Hazel           Corylus avellane
Hawthorn                   Crataegus monogyna
Dogwood                    Cornus sanguinea
Elder                       Sambucus nigra
Wild cherry                 Prunus avium
Crab apple                  Malus sylvestris
Bullace                     Prunus domestica
Dog Rose                    Rosa canina
Ivy                         Hedera helix
Bramble                     Rubus fruticosus
Honeysuckle                Lonicera periclimenum

Species of trees and shrubs to be planted

Silver Birch                 Betula pendula
Common alder            Alnus glutinosa
Hornbeam                   Carpinus betulus
Common Hazel           Corylus avellane
Sweet chestnut            Castanea sativa
English oak                 Quercus robur
Hawthorn                   Crataegus monogyna
Crab apple                   Malus sylvestris
Myrobalan plum         Prunus cerasifera
Blackthorn                  Prunus spinosa
Wild cherry                 Prunus avium
Field maple                 Acer campestre
Small leaved lime       Tilia cordata
Dogwood                    Cornus sanguinea
Spindle                      Euonymus europaeus
Bullace                      Prunus domestica
Osier                        Salix Viminalis

 

Fixed Point Photos

A total of 12 photographs of Grove Piece are taken twice a year (normally in January and June) from 4 fixed points that are situated at the corners of the area and marked by posts. The photos below show two sequences of four photographs.

The first sequence is taken from close to the entrance to Grove Piece, looking towards the diagonally opposite corner.

 

The second sequence is taken from the South-East corner of the area, looking towards the diagonally opposite corner with the bridge to Vicarage Grove.