21 July, 2019

The Plantation and Conservation

Tree thinning Jan 2011 in The Plantation

The Plantation – that strip of woodland which runs from the B1257 through to Castle Howard Road – is in Malton Parish but is so well used by Broughton residents it seems apt to include it on our website.

For many years nothing noticeable has been done to the wood. But this spring walkers will have noticed the appearance of wood piles dotted through the southern end of the wood.

These resulted from a successful day of woodland management by North Yorkshire County Council’s Countryside Service staff and volunteers. Their numbers were boosted by four locals interested in seeing the wood more actively managed to benefit a wider range of wildlife. The work party was able to tackle only half of the wooded area.  It is hoped work on the other half will be carried out later in 2011.

Matt Millington, the North Yorkshire County Council Biodiversity Officer, explains that the aim of the work is to break up the uniform structure of the broadleaf plantation. This suffers from a lack of under storey of shrubs or flowers. The task concentrated on opening up glades in a few sections of the southern end of the wood, allowing more light onto the woodland floor.

“This will hopefully allow the establishment of more woodland flowers, increasing the nectar sources for local insects such as bees, butterflies and moths,” explains Matt.

“The cut material will also grow back as more of a shrub layer, creating cover for birds and small mammals. In the short term, the log piles will provide this cover, and act as an important habitat for many insects that rely on dead and decaying wood.

“We hope the work will not only enhance the area for wildlife, but also enhance the public right of way for those who use it.”

The Countryside Service staff will monitor the initial effects of the tree thinning work this summer. This will then determine how much more needs to be done in the autumn and winter period.

Matt said he wanted to thank Malton Estates for allowing the work to be carried out on their behalf.

“I’d also like to thank the local residents who came out and worked tirelessly on the day,” he said, adding he hoped they would join the Countryside Service staff on future tasks in the wood.

Matt has also promised to provide reports on future work/developments in The Plantation.

The NYCC Biodiversity Officer acts as a first point of contact for the public and interested parties on wildlife advice, ranging from what to do on your own land to how to get involved in conserving biodiversity as an individual or a group. The Biodiversity Officer also chairs the local biodiversity partnerships around the county, including Ryedale, which work to deliver their local Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) and conserve the species and habitats most under threat in the district.

Either email: Matthew.Millington@northyorks.gov.uk or the North Yorkshire County Council website.


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