Bourne Wood is managed as a commercial forest by the Forestry Commission (FC), although conservation of wildlife and recreation are given more precedence in recognition of higher public usage compared to the large, more remote conifer forests in the uplands with fewer visitors. FC was established in 1919 to address Britain’s declining woodland and timber resources, a trend that had commenced in the Middle Ages and had reached an all-time low by the beginning of the 20th Century. This decline was compounded by the outbreak of World War 1 when the country was no longer able to rely on timber imports.
The main purpose of forestry is to grow and harvest or fell trees for timber for a wide range of outlets and uses including for the domestic construction industry, paper production, the manufacture of panels or board, fencing and pallets and to a lesser extent, fuel. Almost four million tonnes of wood are harvested every year from England and Scotland’s public forests. Forestry supports local rural economies by creating employment and supporting forestry contractors who both make use of local facilities and services.
Bourne Wood produces both hardwood timber from broad-leaved species such as oak and wild cherry and softwood from conifers such as Corsican and Scots Pine and European Larch. The vast majority of timber extraction from UK forests is from softwoods, many of which are from plantations established in the 20th Century. Some softwoods have been planted into ancient woodland sites such as at Bourne. All Forestry Commission woods are managed sustainably such that new trees are planted, or allowed to regenerate naturally, to replace those that have been felled and removed.
Many softwoods are harvested after 60 years whereas for a hardwood such as oak, the rotation may be as long as 150 years. In addition to the felling and extraction of the final timber/tree ‘crop’ at harvestable age, a selection of trees are removed at intervals after their initial establishment to reduce the density of trees in a plantation, improve the quality and growth of the remaining trees and produce a saleable final product. This is known as thinning. Normally the first thinning is undertaken when trees have reached between 10 and14 metres in height but the exact timing is dependent on the tree species, the nature of the local environment and financial and marketing considerations.
Acknowledgement contributions from John Wilcockson.
The Friends of Bourne Wood would like to confirm that they are unable to hold the Santa in Bourne wood event this year. It is with deep regret that this decision has been made, but due to the lack of volunteers in previous years and the number of volunteers required to make the event run smoothly, this difficult decision has been made.
If in subsequent years sufficient volunteers are found then this will be reconsidered.
Apologies for any disappointment, and if you would like to offer to help in future years then please contact the Friends’.
The Friends of Bourne Wood had a warm, sunny day for their second den building competition of the year on Sunday.
The families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken. John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and that there would be a rainstorm to test the waterproofness of the dens at the end!
Four families, plus John’s family entered the competition in the morning, with the winners being the Whitney family from South Witham. The afternoon session had three groups with the winners being an all ladies team of Adams and Carlton, who won with lots of added extras such as a washing line and toilet!
Everyone had great fun, although they all got wet when water was thrown over the dens!
We had a warm day with sunny intervals for our den building competition on Sunday.
Five families used leftover materials from the wood thinning to create dens deep within the wood. Most were made lean-to style, with the exception of one wigwam style. The dens were then covered with Bracken to help make them waterproof.
The wigwam style den was big enough for two families, with a dog kennel at the end for the family’s springer spaniel, accommodating five people very comfortably, a very impressive but ambitious design in the time allotted. Other dens had outside seating, carpeted floors, and open fires.
Once made, the dens were tested to see if they were waterproof with the families sitting inside, and the others listening for the screams as they got wet – which everyone did!
As always, it was difficult to choose a winner as all dens were really good, but the winner was made by the Knudson family, a lean-to design with carpet, a rocking chair, and a camp fire!
There will be another chance to try your hand at den building at the end of August, so look out for the posters for this.
We had a lovely sunny summer afternoon for our bug hunt. The event started with John Creedy showing us his moth trap from his garden the previous evening, and explaining to the children (and adults) how the trap worked, and the differences between moths and butterflies. He then let the children handle the moths, a huge poplar Hawk moth, an Orange Underwing and a Buff Ermine to name but a few.
From there Jon Webb hand out some nets to those present, butterfly nets to catch flying insects, sweep nets to brush over the vegetation to catch small bugs. The children (and their parents) then had great fun trying to catch butterflies and even more fun putting them in the pots provided!
We then wandered along with people catching bugs and taking them to the various experts to identify. There were numerous Ringlet butterflies, a few large Skippers, a White Admiral, a lovely Longhorn beetle, an Oak Bush cricket nymph (with really long feelers), and a Flea beetle to name just a few that we caught.
The highlight for me was the Silver Washed Fritillary though, caught after a prolonged chase I believe but absolutely stunning and something I had not seen previously in the wood, we all waited patiently until Keith Porter returned to identify it!
Thank you to Keith, John , Jon and Richard for a very entertaining and informative afternoon which I hope can be repeated.
We had a very pleasant summer evening stroll with the weather being dry and sunny. There were about a dozen people who came to learn about grasses, and Dr Richard Jefferson very kindly agreed to also cover the trees and wildflowers we saw too!
During the evening we identified about 11 species of tree, 37 varieties of wildflower, and 12 grasses and sedges. This is course is only a small selection of what is the wood, as we only covered a short distance due to stopping to inspect plants!
Richard not only helped us to identify grasses by explaining the features of some of the them, and for instance the difference between rushes and sedges, but he also told us interesting facts such as that Rye Grass is often used for football pitches as it is hard-wearing, and that one of the tallest grasses (which was taller than Richard) is Reed Canary Grass which likes damp areas.
We tend to alternate our wildflower walks between the Spring and Summer so we can enjoy and learn about different species each time, and thanks go to Richard for leading an enjoyable evening.
It is so exciting! They are here again! Not only have others told me but I have heard them myself! “ What on earth am I talking about I hear you say?” Well I am talking about Nightingales singing not in Berkeley Square but right here, on our doorstep, in our very own Bourne Woods! Continue reading Nightingales Singing On Our Doorstep→
The Community Orchard Open Day was a success enjoyed by those who came. The Greenwood Quire entertained from 11.15am, dressed in costumes from the time, with their music from the 19th Century and readings from poets such as John Clare and Robert Browning. Continue reading The Community Orchard Open Day→