As you will have seen from the notes of the AGM, it was brought to our notice that a lot of trees are being cut down in Sprotborough Plantation and concern was expressed that too much was being cleared.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have the contract to maintain the woodland at Sprotborough and, as a result of the question raised, an approach was made to explain the reasoning behind this clearance. What follows is the reply and I hope this explanation will be sufficient to answer the questions raised.
"The woods at Sprotbrough Flash are very evenly aged (all tree are the same height and girth and a small number of species), which isn’t ideal for the variety of other things (plants, insects, birds) that live in the woods. Having areas with differently aged trees, enables an understory to develop (hazel, hawthorn etc. are good for this). Some bird species like areas that have been cleared within the last 5 years and some like woods that are 5-10 years old, etc.
As the areas we are clearing are a small proportion of the entire woods, the existing things have plently of space to remain, but hopefully we’ll encourage a few more species to nest on site.
As none of the YWT staff or vols are entomologists, then it’s harder to prove a difference in insect populations, but studies by others have shown that it is beneficial to insects.
Jim Horsfall, Reserves Officer, (South Yorkshire)"