Charlotte's Wood - Restoring a wet woodland
We are delighted to welcome you to our first site, Charlotte’s Wood. It was previously an unused field on a farm in the Somerset Levels and will now become a diverse, native, thriving woodland. It will provide a new habitat for UK wildlife with numerous benefits for people too. We chose this site because it gives us the opportunity to show what Creating Tomorrow’s Forests is all about – using our expertise to create a beautiful wet woodland and water meadow, perfect for amphibians and rare insect species, which will also help control flooding in the area.
Wet Woodland – wet woodland occurs on seasonally flooded or boggy areas and is characterised mainly by willow, alder and birch tree species and thick ground layer vegetation of mosses and ferns. It is an uncommon habitat that supports a high diversity of rare insects, otters, declining bird species such as willow tits, and flora including marsh marigold, yellow flag iris and wild redcurrant.
Sandy clay loam
This site has been part of a farm for generations but is not used for agriculture as it floods frequently. Prior to this it was a willow plantation.
In order to jump start the wet woodland creation process, we are using the Miyawaki Method at Charlotte's Wood. This means that we are planting the trees at higher densities as they will grow ten times faster, absorb more carbon and establish a woodland ecosystem more quickly.
The site will be planted in two blocks, with black poplar and alder forming the majority of the top canopy, while goat willow and bird cherry will form the lower canopy. The shrub layer will include hazel, grey willow and wayfarer tree. The tree species have been chosen to include wet habitat specialists and provide a plentiful supply of nectar for insects and berries for birds. There will also be a pond in the middle with an amphibian hibernacula. Marginal aquatic plants are planted around the site, including yellow flag iris, water mint and ragged robin.
Tree Species Planted:
Black poplar, alder, crack willow, white willow, downy birch, silver birch, oak, bird cherry, goat willow, holly, grey willow, hazel, wayfarer tree, elder, blackthorn