Felling scrub Ash on Butser Hill

Felling scrub Ash on Butser

 The downland of Butser Hill is made up of a mosaic of scrub and grassland communities, an ever-changing relationship influenced by the climate, the rabbit population and the grazing of cattle and sheep. Where this becomes unbalanced in favour of the scrub, species such as Dogwood or Hawthorn quickly dominate to the detriment of the grassland. Soon after the small Ash trees arrive, protected from the grazing animals by the scrub, and within a few years a small woodland block has established. The steep wooded slopes  that are a common feature along the northern edge of the South Downs are testament to this process.
Ash poles awaiting transport to the yard

Ash poles awaiting transport to the yard

 
 
The Parks rangers do all the felling work with chainsaws.The Husqvarna 357 being the favoured model. The timber extraction is carried out by Rick Rowe a local timber contractor. When all the slopes are cleared the cut timber will be removed to the yard to season. Next winter this will provide wood chip to heat the visitor centre and provide firewood for local customers.  
Scrub Ash felling
Scrub Ash felling

The Park is due to start a new grant scheme on the 1st May 2011. The Higher Level Scheme (HLS) is a DEFRA initiative, in the case of Butser Hill which is designated as a National Nature Reserve, our first point of contact is the local Natural England officer Alan McVittie. This scheme should guarantee the funding which is so necessary  for the practical works to keep Butser in ‘favourable’ condition. 

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