Published: Friday, 22nd September 2023

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Warwick District Council’s joint Woodland Management programme continues this autumn with work scheduled at the Leam Valley Nature Reserve.

The nature reserve forms part of Newbold Comyn.

The initiative is the next phase of the Council and Trust’s ten-year strategy to improve the structural diversity, light and biodiversity of the district’s woodlands and follows two successful tree thinning operations at Oakley Wood.

As part of this programme essential work will be carried out to mitigate against the disease ‘ash dieback’ which has already infected the woodland and threatens to kill many of the ash trees within the reserve.

The Director of Nature Reserves at the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Karl Curtis said:

“The woodland at Leam Valley Local Nature Reserve was mostly planted in the 1970s and is now beginning to mature, it therefore needs careful management so that it can continue to thrive.

"This can be achieved by balancing the age and size of the trees through thinning, removing those which are unsafe or diseased and introducing and encouraging the growth of varieties such as oak and cherry.

"The effect will be to create more light, homes and food sources for wildlife benefitting the long-term health of the woodland.”  

Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Councillor Will Roberts added:

“Warwickshire is among the least wooded counties in the UK, which makes the woodlands in this district precious not only in terms of the landscape, but also for the role they play in securing carbon, purifying the air we breathe and prevention of flooding.

"One of the biggest threats to our woodlands would be a decision not to manage them, so while this programme of work may initially appear destructive, the woodland will soon recover and gain greater biodiversity and better protection from pests, diseases and climate change.”

The Leam Valley Woodland Management Programme is being led by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and will be completed by Spring 2024. The areas affected will be signposted, with safety barriers in place.  

Both Warwick District Council and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust would like to thank visitors to Newbold Comyn for their understanding and cooperation while this important conservation work is taking place.

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