Holly Clearance Work begins


Starting today, a small team of foresters will be on site to start one of the most ambitious phases of our current woodland management plan, undertaking the thinning out of a dense area of Holly from an area along Robin Hood Ride (the track that runs from Springwell Car Park to Beverley Brook). This work will continue into early 2022.  The Ride will remain open during the work.

Why are we carrying out this work? 

Whilst Holly is a native species and can provide nesting opportunities for birds as well as nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects, reducing the coverage of Holly in some areas of the Commons’ woodland will be of great benefit to the overall biodiversity of the site.

The low levels of light that accompany the presence of this dominant and hardy tree greatly restrict the development of a well-structured woodland environment. Woodland should ideally contain a full range and balance of structure and this would include:

  • A field layer (ferns and grasses)
  • A shrub layer (low growing scrub species, up to 5m high)
  • An understorey of low growing trees
  • The canopy layer.

By retaining approximately 10% of the existing Holly in each hectare of woodland, it is our aim to ensure that it is not the dominant species so that a natural process of woodland regeneration can be allowed to take place.

To ensure the safety of visitors to the Commons given the use of heavy machinery, barrier tape will be used to temporarily mark off the areas where Holly thinning is being carried out and there will be small fires on site to help dispose of the brash. We would ask visitors to avoid these areas

These fires are an important part of our woodland work programme and they will be supervised at all times by the foresters.

The London Fire Brigade have been informed about the location and timings of these fires and therefore to prevent wasting the Fire brigade’s time or preventing the foresters from carrying out their work, we would please ask that if you have concerns about the presence of fires on the Commons, please telephone the Rangers Office: 020 8788 7655.