The proposal is to create a mixed productive woodland extending to around 354 hectares. The species would consist of Sitka Spruce, a range of mixed conifers and mixed broadleaves. Many of the broadleaved areas would be viewed as having productive potential, with the capacity to deliver multiple benefits.
Species Group Area %
Mixed broadleaves 45.81 13% Mixed conifers 13.59 4% Sitka spruce 145.57 41% Mixed broadleaves/conifers 84.95 24% Open ground 64.12 18%
The proposal would follow the UK Woodland Standard (UKFS) in all respects.
- To produce commercially viable quantities of timber and woodfuel utilising a wide range of tree species
- To create a resilient woodland capable of delivering economic and environmental benefits in a time of change
- To provide sustainable employment opportunities
- To sequester atmospheric carbon
- To provide a recreational resource
- To enhance the landscape fit of existing woodlands
- To contribute towards flood prevention
- To create new biodiversity habitats and opportunities, including further Red Squirrel friendly woodland in the Kyloe buffer zone.
The current landuse is predominantly agricultural, with sheep grazing being the main enterprise.
The surrounding landscape is characterised by conifer shelterbelts that follow field boundaries. Larger more actively managed commercial woodland lie adjacent to the South and East of the site.
Within the proposed planting area the landuse can be broken into the following areas:
- Existing plantation woodland: 14.03 ha
- Ungrazed moorland: 73.26 ha
- Grazed moorland: 156.49 ha
- In bye pasture: 109.43 ha
The in bye fields are grazed by sheep and cattle.
The grazed moorland appears to have had widely fluctuating grazing pressures, which has resulted in vegetation cover characteristic of both over and under grazing.
The ungrazed moor is dominated by successional native tree species with extensive tracts of rhododendron.
Bracken is encroaching across both the grazed and the ungrazed moor. The result is now becoming a pre-dominant duo culture of bracken and rhododendron chocking out other plant species and wildlife.