The 1987 storm blew down the old plantation of beech and larch in our woodland known as The Mountain (also called Titch Hill). In 1989-91 we planted beech and ash standards. But by 2003 the wood was overrun with sycamore seedlings, whose dense canopy and heavy leaf litter were lowering its value for ground flora and wildlife.
In 2005 we asked Andrew Cossar of Pro Forest to start a program of clearing about half a hectare each winter of the sycamores, and planting hazel and other coppice and standard trees in their place.
We left broad rides for flowers and butterflies, and Andrew and his assistant Tom Warburton mowed these until the initial flush of nettles was replaced by a flower-rich sward including many
cowslips and violets, ground ivy and buttercups, pyramid and southern marsh and spotted orchids. Woodland plants that appear include spurge laurel, white gromwell, and snowdrops.
Native primroses raised on Binsted Nursery were planted into the ride edges and have established well.
In winter 2015/16, the first tenth-year hazel coppice stems were cut. Here they have been woven into a wattle fence by Darren Mills of BeeBee Kennels in Binsted.