Forestry Clearance on the Triangle and Grasslands Common
Work has commenced on the clearance of trees and scrub on the Triangle between Littlewick Road and Station Road, and on Grasslands, as indicated by the shaded areas on the map below. This project is part of a 10 year programme of heathland restoration to be carried out on Horsell Common, which is funded by Natural England through conservation grants.
Heathland restoration involves the removal of pine, oak and birch trees; the trees will be chipped and used to generate electricity at Slough Power Station. After the timber has been removed, the remaining stumps will be reduced to ground level by a process called mulching. This destroys the stumps and churns up the leaf litter. Some areas will be scraped to remove excess leaf litter. All this work produces an environment with favourable conditions for heathland regeneration from dormant seed.
Heathland is a valued resource, not only for the rare wildlife it supports but also for its cultural and recreational importance. Unfortunately lowland heath is under threat. In order to protect and enhance the local countryside, the Horsell Common Preservation Society is working to conserve and, where necessary, expand areas of lowland heathland. To achieve this some areas of secondary woodland must be cleared.
Lowland heathland is a globally rare habitat that provides a home for a unique range of specially adapted wildlife. If the heathlands are lost, so is the wildlife. Heathland once covered vast areas of southern England. Since the 1800s, forestry, agricultural intensification, and urban development have contributed to the loss of 75% of this precious resource. The decline in traditional land uses, such as grazing, has also allowed many heaths to become overgrown.
The heathland restoration project on Horsell Common is being funded by Natural England through its Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. HCPS has been successful in its application for a grant under the HLS Scheme, and will receive over £310,000 over 10 years for this important habitat management work.