Free woodland management advice available to Swaledale forestry owners

Woodland in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Owners of woodlands in Swaledale which are not actively managed are eligible for free advice courtesy of a project funded by the Forestry Commission’s Forestry Innovation Fund.

The Woodland Management Focus Area project aims to identify woodlands that are not currently managed but which have the fewest barriers to management, whilst providing the greatest benefits.

These might include improved biodiversity, additional shelter for buildings and stock, reduced soil erosion or income from timber for the owner.

One focus area, or cluster, of woodlands that the project has found are not actively managed but which would benefit from doing so is in Swaledale, and the project is now offering a free online advice session to all woodland owners in the area.

Will Richardson, of RDI Associates, one of the project partners, said ‘The woodlands of Swaledale are of very high scenic and wildlife value, on a national scale, but for various reasons, many of them have not been sustainably managed for many years.

“Ash dieback is the latest threat to their existence and makes introducing sympathetic management even more important.

“The good news is that at a time or record high timber prices, we can manage woodlands without significant cost to the owner – and often with a good return.”

The free one to one advice session will be conducted by Will Richardson or Martin Glynn of RDI Associates, both Chartered Foresters with longstanding experience in the forestry sector in North Yorkshire.

They will undertake an assessment of the woodland’s potential for management, any barriers that might exist and give advice regarding next steps.

The session can last up to two hours and will be conducted online.

There is no commitment to proceed further with any recommendations, and all information will be kept confidential at all times. Advice sessions need to be completed by the end of March.

To book a session, contact Will Richardson on will.richardson@ruraldevelopment.org.uk / 07957 184 978 or Martin Glynn on martin@martinglynn.co.uk / 07711 710808.