Whilst out undertaking fieldwork associated with an Environment Impact Assessment, one of our assessors was lucky enough to discover themselves in a beautiful elm tree woodland in Cambridgeshire. Elm tree woodlands and trees were once commonplace in the English landscape but started to reduce in the early 1900s after woodland products declined and have since been badly affected by Dutch elm disease since its arrival in the UK in the 1960s. The English landscape changed dramatically when the disease invaded with only a handful of specimens and woodlands remaining.
Dutch elm disease is a fungal disease carried by the elm bark beetle. The beetle is thought to travel at a particular height above the ground and so some elm trees have survived in hedgerows or within protected woodland groves. The elm tree woodlands in Cambridgeshire have been specifically managed under a pollarding regime in order to prevent the trees from reaching the height that the elm bark beetle travels at in order to avoid an infestation taking hold. This management is undertaken on a rotational basis in order ensure good canopy cover, habitat and food sources for the local wildlife.
The amenity quality of elm woodlands is unlike other woodlands within the UK. Dappled light penetrates the canopy with shafts of light permeating down to the woodland floor over which dense herb layer vegetation establishes. A rich and varied woodland floor layer attracts a wild range of insect and mammal life.
ACD Environmental are able to provide a wide range of services including Environmental Impact Assessment, ecological surveys, woodland management plans, amenity management plans and monitoring. If you would like any further information please visit our website or call our head office for further details.