LRWT needs your help to map our ancient woodland in Leicestershire and Rutland. More...
Andy Lear writes:
Britain is one of the least wooded countries in Europe and Leicestershire has the smallest proportion of ancient woodlands in the UK. The Ancient Woodland Inventory update is a countrywide project funded by Natural England and the Woodland Trust. The aim is to revise and update the original AW inventory produced in the 1980s using modern digital standards and taking into account the wider availability of historical mapping. The new inventory will also include sites down to 0.25 ha in area (the original inventory only mapped woods down to 2ha).
Work on the Leicestershire and Rutland inventory is being coordinated by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire working in collaboration with Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT). To date desk-based research has identified over 500 areas of possible ancient woodland in Leicestershire and Rutland. About a third (mainly larger woods) were identified on the old inventory but about two thirds are small fragments of woodland which were not included. We now need help to survey as many of these woods as possible over the next spring and summer to help determine their status.
Volunteers are needed to visit woods and look for ancient woodland features and indicator plant species and enter the information on a simple recording form. The survey period is between March and the end of August. Volunteers are able to select woods from a list and carry out surveys whenever it is convenient. We will provide guidance on what features to look out for as well as maps showing the location of woods which require a survey. Because of the short time frame for the project, we will not be able to get permission to visit private woodlands, so we will be asking volunteers to restrict their surveys to woods with permissive access or accessible by public rights of way, or where the surveyor has themselves gained permission to visit from the landowner.
To participate, please email Andy Lear, Ancient Woodland Inventory Officer: Andy.Lear@wildlifebcn.org