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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Milford on Sea plans to improve wooded areas

Milford Conservation Volunteers working on restoring wooded areas.
Milford Conservation Volunteers restoring woodland footpaths.
Residents and wildlife in Milford on Sea are set to benefit from plans to improve wooded areas in the coastal village.

To ensure that the area’s woodlands continue to flourish, Milford on Sea Parish Council and the Milford Conservation Volunteers have worked with the New Forest Land Advice Service to develop a 10 year Woodland Management Plan.

Woodland covers 10 per cent of the parish, with many sites designated as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) and Local Nature Reserves. These broad-leaved woodlands boast a range of impressive native trees, including oak, ash and alder.

However these sites also contain non-native plants and trees, which affect the vitality of the woodlands’ native flora and the wildlife they support.

The plan seeks to tackle these challenges through measures that include:

  • Removing a small number of trees each year to improve the overall health of the woodland
  • Surveying invasive non-native plant species and eradicating the most harmful
  • Improving habitats for butterflies and other insects by traditional coppicing of some trees, which involves cutting them down to ground level to stimulate new growth
  • Creating more open sunny glades and maintaining existing glades
  • Restoring footpaths and important heathland habitat.

Graham Wells, Parish Clerk of Milford on Sea Parish Council, said: ‘The Parish Council thanks the Land Advice Service for all their efforts in the production of the 10 year management plan for the woodlands. Thanks also go to the Milford Conservation Volunteers for their efforts helping to manage the site for wildlife and people.’

Keith Metcalf, Milford Conservation Volunteer, said: ‘We are delighted that the Parish Council has adopted the Land Advice Service’s woodland management plan recommendations.

‘Local conservation volunteers have been at the forefront of helping develop the plan and have been instrumental in bringing the conservation management of the Pleasure Grounds woodlands to fruition over the past 20 years. We shall continue to offer our voluntary services to the council to undertake much of the work, which under the management plan will continue at a measured pace.’

Angela Peters from the New Forest Land Advice Service, said: ‘It’s excellent news to see these fantastically diverse woodlands being managed better for wildlife and local people. We hope that this plan will help butterflies, native bluebells and many other plants and animals associated with British woodlands thrive for years to come.’

A copy of the full management plan is available at the Milford Parish Office on the High Street in Milford on Sea from 10am to 12pm on weekdays or by emailing Angela.Peters@nflandadvice.org.uk.

Details of the work of the Milford Conservation Volunteers, and how you can get involved, can be found at www.milfordcv.org

The New Forest Land Advice Service is funded by the New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Verderers.

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