Monday, 9 August 2010

Bog Woodland Restoration

Restoration of bog woodland has been an ongoing project in the forest over the past few years. The New Forest contains important bog woodland environments, environments which were adversely affected through drainage for forestry activities over the last 150 years. Restoration has been through returning water courses to their previous channels, encouraging seasonal flooding, and removal of invasive shrub and tree populations. Here on Avon Water, between Holmsley Bridge and Wootton Bridge, which is adjacent to a extensive strip of open raised bog wetland, the process is beginning to bear fruit with the return of these vital and rare habitats, their flora and fauna.

The encouragement of seasonal flooding in this area and the recent rains have combined to sustain the moist environment, creating a lush and verdant swathe of greens and a wide and diverse range of niche plants. Accessible now, as even though retaining moisture it's firm enough under foot to traverse, when autumn arrives and with it the rains, this environment will become inaccessible to humans (unless prepared to become very wet and jeopardise their safety), creating an oasis for forest wildlife.

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