WOODHALL ESTATE

HERTFORDSHIRE

Woodhall Estate Forestry works: Summer 2018
Woodhall Estate is continually managing its woodland areas as part of a long term plan to achieve high standards of conservation, sustainability, and bio-diversity.

Currently there are minor roadside operations in progress, for which we have undertaken an element of traffic management, to ensure that the trees adjacent to highways are in a safe condition.  In addition to this, we have planned some pollarding of veteran trees and small felling operations to remove trees which could have a likelihood of potential failure in the future so that more appropriate tree species can be established.

In the Bramfield woods we are undertaking felling operations which include selective removal of certain tree species (primarily Red Oak) in small pockets to establish a more diverse next generation of young trees and ground flora. In these areas, a great deal of the dead wood is retained to provide mini-beast, fungi, amphibian and reptile habitat. Amongst the decaying branches we expect to get natural regeneration of tree species, wild plants and flowers, providing an environment for bees and other winged insects which makes good hunting grounds for bats.

Selective thinning of Corsican Pine, which has reached its natural maturity, is also being carried out in Bramfield woods, to make way for younger trees to grow. While working in the area we are carrying out minor works to ride and path edges, to favour select species and increase wildlife benefits.  The number of different woodland plants, butterflies and bees found along the woodland rides and glades is an indication of the improvements we are pleased to have made in recent years.
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The Broadwater and River Beane Renovation Project: Woodhall Park June 2018.
During severe weather conditions at the end of March 2016, the waterfall at the end of the Broadwater was under so much pressure that it breached its banks on the northern side, removing the Broadwater’s ability to retain water.

Woodhall Estate and Affinity water have taken this opportunity to undertake a significant renovation project to remove the sediment within the Broadwater, repair the historic weir, and to re- establish 1.4 kilometres of rare chalk stream environment, by diverting the river around the two weirs in the park.

This will have significant environmental benefits by improving the water quality in the Broadwater and allowing fish passage to a significant stretch of the River Beane, linking it to other river improvement projects in both directions.  Detailed surveys have been undertaken to ensure that the new channel and Broadwater have the capacity to cope with future water volumes, whilst providing as much environmental benefit as possible.

Phase 1 of the project started in November 2017 from the triple weir below Clusterbolts wood, up to the Tumbling Bay by the bridge at Home farm.  Trees have been selectively removed to allow much needed light onto the river and a new river channel has been formed, meandering through the adjacent field.  This has been recently completed and the first river-side and in-channel vegetation is starting to establish after being moved from the Broadwater before works commenced.

Phase 2 is the area up-stream of Home Farm, which has just started. The renovation of the weir and penstock is underway and silt is being dug out of the lake bed to commence the drying process before being deposited to benefit fertility on agricultural land. The engineers are currently marking out the course in preparation of construction of the new river channel, which will run adjacent to the Broadwater.

This is an exciting project which has relied on a great deal of planning and co-operation by a range of organisations to ensure that it works for the greatest amenity benefit  within the park and create as much positive conservation value as possible. We look forward to seeing this environment flourish once the work is finished. The works are planned to complete by winter 2018.


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New Recruitment opportunities

 

We are pleased to offer the following opportunity at Woodhall Estate:

Buildings Manager

For further information please see our recruitment page.
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