Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has received confirmation of funding amounting to £182,000 from the Forestry Commission for undertaking a large woodland creation project in Hertfordshire.
The new publicly accessible woodland will be known as Potters Chase Wood, and will occupy part of a seventy-two hectare rural site located to the east of Potters Bar and bordering the M25. The project has been made possible through the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Carbon Fund which has been able to commit 100% capital costs due to the site’s location within a ‘Priority Places for England’ area.
The project has been developed by Maydencroft Limited on behalf of the council, and will see over 38,000 trees planted across a period of two years, incorporating rides, glades and woodland edges. Tree species will be a mixture of broadleaved and coniferous species, with at least 70 percent ‘productive’ species that can be harvested for timber.
Neil Chamberlain, Senior Forestry Consultant at Maydencroft Limited, says: “On the drier, more acidic soils, a mix of silver birch, Scots pine, sessile and pedunculate oak, holly, rowan and hornbeam will be planted. On the more neutral, base rich soils, wild cherry, small leaved lime and common alder will be added to the traditional mix of oak and hornbeam.
“Where higher yielding conifers can be planted without adversely affecting the long-term landscape, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, and Norway spruce will be included in blocks separated by ribbons of broadleaf planting. Scalloped woodland edges and rides will be planted with native shrubs to give structure and promote habitat diversity.”
The name of the new woodland has been chosen to reflect both its location next to Potters Bar and its historic legacy of being part of the former Enfield Chase hunting ground.
The project is being delivered with the support and input of the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, and Northaw & Cuffley Parish Council.