Bourne Wood is now 20 or so years old and in need of thinning.
The reason for thinning the trees is to open up the canopy and give better quality trees the opportunity to develop into mature handsome specimens. The wood is owned by Cambridge County Farms, the trees were originally donated by the Forestry Commission and were planted by members of the community. Cambridge County Farms, Forestry Commission advisors and Friends of Worts Meadow (FOWM) Management Committee have agreed that the tree thinning needs to be done. Cambridge County Farms have obtained a grant that will cover much of the work, which is currently out to tender with commercial tree surgeon companies.
The nature of the work is to coppice around 20% of trees of a multi-stemmed nature. This will target a high proportion of the field maples that have 4-6 main trunks, leaving trees with straighter single trunks to mature into high quality specimens. It is expected that the stumps will re-grow to create a multilevel canopy ideal for wildlife. Cornus (dogwoods) and sloe bushes will also be coppiced but crab apple and hazel will be left untouched. The main rides and pathways will be widened to 4m to allow light and air to reach the paths and help them dry out more rapidly after heavy rain, thus reducing muddiness. The ‘natural’ benches in the wood will be repaired or replaced. The timing of the work is not yet fixed but is expected to be through this coming winter and completed before the spring.
FOWM Management Committee and Cambridge County Farms fully appreciate that many members of the community who enjoy walking in the woods will be concerned at the expected changes in the appearance of the wood, but we ask you all to bear with us as we are certain that the changes will be for the better and will ultimately enhance both the appearance and biodiversity of the wood in years to come. We also ask that members of the public do not remove the felled timber.
Friends of Worts Meadow Management Committee