For several years now Greening Wymondham volunteers have been working on woodland management at Kett’s Park Wood. Before we started, the wood had effectively had little or no management since it was planted and it was showing the signs of neglect. In many areas, the trees were planted too densely. This caused them to grow tall and thin rather
than ‘filling out’ and it prevented the growth of a lower understory of plants. Active management and the need for an ongoing management strategy is essential to creation of proper structure in the woodland, to conserve the wood, to increase biodiversity and to make it a pleasant and inviting place for recreational use.
We have continued our quest to create greater biodiversity by opening up the overcrowded wood, selectively thinning out trees, coppicing, pollarding and even laying some hedge. The work has involved cutting down dead and diseased trees (including Ash trees with Ash die-back disease). We have coppiced many Hazel and Willow trees (cutting them low to the ground). These coppiced trees will quickly rejuvenate, growing more but thinner branches, which has the advantage of letting in more light and giving space for other species to flourish.
It is remarkable how much growth has occurred at ground level just by allowing in more light. We even saw orchids for the first time. The Town Council has also agreed to leave a strip of grass, on the field-side of the wood, uncut over next summer. This is to create a wildlife habitat and a transition into the woods. This will be a very worthwhile addition, needing minimal maintenance.
Native Bulb Planting: As part of our efforts to encourage diversity Greening Wymondham planted some native bulb species around Kett’s Wood in October 2021.
Kett's Park Woodland Path: Greening Wymondham were able to acquire funding to pay for the path through the wood to be resurfaced. Before this the path was often very muddy if not flooded in the winter. The new path was opened in June 2019.