Our concept of a Hagge Wood involves the transformation of an arable field or other similarly limited habitat into a thriving woodland ecosystem. Planning, plant species selection, ground preparation and planting are only the first steps. Lack of active management results in a homogeneous woodland structure and allows the rapid establishment of native invasives such as bramble and nettle, which in turn prevent colonization by native woodland wildflowers. Thoughtful, timely and consistent management are key to success and long-term monitoring will be the means of measuring it.
‘How to Create a Wood-Meadow’
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The Plan in Action
To research and practise the ecological and holistic creation of new native woodlands, we have created our first experimental woodland at Three Hagges Wood-meadow. The project has received a strong endorsement from Natural England, the government’s statutory adviser on nature conservation:
It seems to me that the Hagge Woods Trust is already in a good position to be able to progress the project (Three Hagges Wood-meadow) in collaboration with the community and expert advisers and in so doing will directly contribute to conservation and to the greater understanding of woodlands and woodland creation techniques. (Jeff Lunn, Area Manager 23.4.13).
The largest area of newly created deciduous woodland in Selby District in the Jubilee year, Three Hagges Wood-meadow is managed by Hagge Woods Trust, secured on a long-term lease on a peppercorn rent from Escrick Park Estate. It is being planted with the help of the local community and is open to the public for the benefit of the community. The new woodland holds enormous potential for educational and recreational events. You can follow the progress on www.threehaggeswoodmeadow.org.uk