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Gobions Annual Report 1999

Extract from Ecological Survey
Spring to Autumn 1998
by Landscape Design Associates, Peterborough

Aims and Objectives

The overall aim for nature conservation management is to protect and, where appropriate, enhance the habitats of the site, to maintain or enhance its wildlife interest, particularly for features of national, regional and local importance.

Specific objectives which seek to fulfil this aim are as follows:

To retain most of the hornbeam woodland as minimum intervention high forest with glades

To retain all old trees with as little management as possible and permit the development of further old trees, especially at wood margins and in grassland and hedges

To maintain an abundant supply of dead wood, both standing and fallen, for invertebrates and fungi, leaving fallen dead wood in situ, as far as is compatible with safety and access considerations

To leave cut wood in pieces as large as possible, scattering some within the wood and maintaining others as large piles, preferably maintained in the same place year-on-year

To improve the structural diversity of the wood by rotational coppicing of areas which have already been subject to felling in the recent past To enhance the structure of the wood edge, by encouraging a gradual transition from woodland through shrubs and scattered trees to tall grassland, especially in compartments W3 and W9/G6

To remove young and invasive non-native species, particularly sycamore, from most of the site

To encourage natural regeneration of species such as ash, hornbeam and oak rather than planting non-native trees

To maintain the current hay-cutting regime in Leach Field (G1), and extend it if possible to G2 and G3

To implement a programme of rotational cutting or scrub clearance in the uncut strips around Leach Fields

To increase the area of species-rich grassland, particularly in Compartments G3 and G6

To abolish use of herbicides and fertiliser on any of the grasslands, and seek to change the silage cutting regime on Compartments G4 and G5 to a more sympathetic grazing or hay-cutting regime

To implement light grazing or hand management of the grassland in Compartment G7

To maintain the existing comprehensive system of mature hedges and trees, and seek to fill any gaps in the network by planting new hedges

To ensure continuity of oaks, and a good age structure, in grassland and hedgerows

To allow development of swamp communities in P6, and compensate for the loss of open water by creating a new pond in G4, 5 or 6

To allow the wetland communities in P3 and P5 to develop naturally for the next few years, after the disturbance resulting from their restoration and avoid management which might reduce the extent of wet ground, transitions and juxtapositions of wetland with other habitats.

These objectives are in accord with the Hertfordshire Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), and should ensure that populations of all key species are maintained on the site. The management objectives should also increase the potential of the wood to support other key species that may not currently be present. The Hertfordshire BAP provides much useful information relating to the rationale of habitat management in Hertfordshire, and reference to this document will allow a fuller understanding of the selected management objectives.

by Landscape Design Associates, Peterborough

Patron: The Marchioness of Salisbury
Trustees: Iain Aitken, Jerry Golland, Michael Jonas and Bernard Spatz

Other sections of the Gobions Woodland Trust Friends' Report 1999
Annual Report 1999
Butterfly Survey 1999
Butterfly Survey Details 1999
Ecological Survey
Bird Survey 1999
Annual Report 1998
Butterflies of Gobions Woodland
Butterflies 1-5
Butterflies 6-10
Butterflies   11-15
Butterflies   16-19
Butterflies not sighted during 1999 survey Butterflies seen in 1998

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