Better Landscapes – More Wildlife
The woodlands we enjoy today are the result of hundreds of years of management by man. However, many of the hardwood woodlands we have in Wales today have been neglected over the last three quarters of a century because there has been less need for farmers and land owners to use products from their own woods and so the timber has had little or no value. The infrastructure and care of many woods has suffered leaving poor quality trees that are difficult to harvest and extract. This poor quality timber is ideal for producing wood fuels and the operations of thinning and putting in infrastructure will allow a mix of quality timber and wood fuel to be produced and harvested from the woods in the future.
Management of woodland creates a diverse structure of habitats that can support a great diversity of plants, insects, mammals and birds. For example, the small pearl-bordered fritillary found in woodland clearings and glades is common in well managed deciduous woodlands, flying close to the ground in search of nectar rich flowers such as the bugle.
The Forestry Commission report "A Woodfuel Strategy for England" outlines the benefits of managing woodland for fire wood
Wood fuel provides an opportunity for woodland owners to gain extra value for their timber by supplying local markets with firewood - and means that many more woods will be properly managed again. Not only will our wonderful woodland eco-systems that exist today be protected and increased, but the woods will become productive and offer new opportunities for people to enjoy them and earn a living from them.