Rewilding Woodlands Project
Eadha has embarked on a project to rewild local native woodland plantations. This will be a two pronged approach of removal of planting infrastructure i.e. plastic tubes and the planting of under-storey native plant species. This project is funded by Mossy Earth.
Why? - The Threats
Surviving remnants of ancient native woodland are vulnerable to over-use, air pollution and climate change. Ground flora species are at risk of hybridisation (e.g. native bluebell), depletion through trampling and grazing, and competition by invasive species e.g. rhododendron. Planted woodland is typically missing important understorey and ground flora species which reduces its resilience. Planting infrastructure is often left in-situ (e.g. plastic guards, which if left for long periods will break down into micro-plastics creation pollution which is increasingly hard to remove. If tubes are left on trees they can be a risk to tree growth and survival, restrictive growth and trapping moisture leading to rot.
What we are doing
At Locherwood Community woodland in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park in Renfrewshire our Rewilding Woodlands Project will aim to remove all visible evidence of planting infrastructure across approximately 14 Ha of planted broadleaved community woodland to create a more natural landscape and to enhance both the ecological and aesthetic value of the woodland through underplanting with shrubs and wildflowers to mimic a natural woodland site.
We are planting patches of wildflowers in shaded areas of closed canopy as well as as across woodland edge areas. Climbers are also being planted adjacent to trees.. Eadha is supplying some of the planting stock from its nursery grown from locally collected seed and cuttings and the remainder will be bought in from commercial nurseries. This will comprise of plugs, bulbs and bare-rooted plants. The hope is that these introduced species will natural spread as the trees mature so that a rich woodland habitat will evolve.
An example of species being planted include Yellow Pimpernel, Ground Ivy, Wood Avens, Pale Wood Sedge, Hairy Woodrush, Bluebell, Purple Loosestrife, Common Valerian, Cuckoo Flower, marsh Woundwort, Harebell, Red Campion, Wood Vetch, Bugle Dog Violet.
We are lucky to have had the help of local corporate volunteers from HPE Enterprises and Thermofisher as well as communitiy volunteers.
More photos of the project can be opened here
We have also started to rewild Place Woodland in Kilbirnie and are looing for other new sites.