Young Wood offers a wealth of habitats for wildlife, and we work to enhance those habitats, while helping more people to enjoy, learn about and contribute to the care of that wildlife.
Young Wood supports a mixture of broadleaved and coniferous woodland, some of it planted and some of it self-seeded. There are plantations of oak, beech, spruce, pine and larch, mixed with naturally-occurring oak, ash, maple, hazel, willow and many other trees and shrubs. A special feature is the unusually high number of wild service trees, an uncommon tree in Britain. Parts of Young Wood are ancient woodland (meaning they have been continuously wooded since mapped records began) while other parts were planted on open pasture within the past century.
Open glades and rides within the wood support a rich flora on the limey clay soils, with plants like salad burnet, devil's-bit scabious, quaking grass, common spotted orchid and knapweed. Deeper into the shady woods there is wood spurge, twayblade, spurge laurel to be found, and very rarely a greater butterfly orchid or birds-next orchid, amongst typical woodland plants like bluebell, dog's mercury and lots of pendulous sedge.
Below Young Wood, in the valley of the Orchard stream, the Neroche longhorn cattle graze on flower-rich pastures with bee orchids, adders tongue fern and other plants aplenty, with extended open space restored as part of the Neroche Scheme.
Our coppicing and ride-widening work has already begun to improve conditions for wildlife, and we plan to continue providing that benefit in the future. All our management work will be geared to producing a sustainable yield of firewood and timber, in a manner which enhances the environment of the forest as a whole.
Take a look at our 'Meet the Neighbours' project page to find out more about the nature we've encountered in our wood!
For more information contact Gavin Saunders