Running Deer purchased Butterdon Wood in July 2013.
It is predominantly planted to Japanese Larch with mixed broadleaf including hazel, sweet chestnut, sycamore, cherry, holly and a few oak. The larch was planted as a crop in 1987. Larch is a fast growing conifer harvested for construction, fencing, gates, telegraph poles and railway sleepers.
Until we took ownership of the woodland it was under managed, resulting in dense, dark conifer woodland with little growth at ground or shrub level.
The woodland is going through some massive changes, partly because a prolific disease that is currently attacking larch trees which has advanced our medium term aim to remove the larch and replace with broadleaf trees. The creation of a new broadleaf woodland will change the structure of the canopy, allowing the light in and encouraging new tree growth and wild flowers such as bluebells, foxgloves and wood sorrel.
There are also a significant number of hazel, sycamore and sweet chestnut coppice stands which have been left unmanaged. This has resulted in trees in desperate need of attention.
We are in the process of coppicing these trees using traditional methods, for the production of wood and charcoal, and to improve the health of the woodland.
As part of Running Deer’s replanting plan we will create glades and improve the habitat for wildlife, such as the Nightjar which used to be heard in Butterdon Wood before the larch plantation was established.