Young wood: a woodland beyond the edge

Weatherall, Andrew ORCID logo ORCID: , van der Velden, Naomi ORCID logo ORCID: , Wallace, Carrie and Atkins, Roger (2013) Young wood: a woodland beyond the edge. In: Rotherham, Ian D., Handley, Christine, Agnoletti, Mauro and Samojlik, Tomasz, (eds.) Trees beyond the wood: an exploration of concepts of woods, forests and trees. Wildtrack Publishing, Sheffield, UK, pp. 311-332.

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Young Wood, near Mungrisedale, in the Lake District National Park is the highest Atlantic oakwood in England. This makes Young Wood the current upper altitudinal limit for semi-natural, ancient woodland in England. This iconic woodland was fenced by Natural England in autumn 2008 to remove grazing sheep in order to conserve and enhance biodiversity, for example by enabling natural regeneration of trees. It is hypothesised that management of semi-natural habitats to conserve and enhance biodiversity may also protect, and possibly increase, carbon storage in the landscape. However, very little research has specifically tested this in long-term field studies. The fencing of Young Wood provides a good opportunity to improve the evidence base. Immediately prior to fencing soil samples were taken to provide baseline carbon and nitrogen concerntrations. Soil bulk density samples were also taken to enable an estimation of soil carbon content. Data from this initial soil survey were analysed to compare current soil concentration and content under different types of vegetation. The potential implications of the results for future carbon storage are discussed. Future repeat surveys will determine how carbon storage is actually affected by the removal of grazing sheep. To begin to monitor changes in biodiversity, a ground vegetation survey was undertaken in summer 2009 and a baseline lichen survey was undertaken in 2010. Data from these baseline surveys are briefly described. A follow up ground vegetation survey was undertaken in 2010. Data from these baseline surveys are briefly described. A follow up ground vegetation survey was indertaken in 2011. Data are compared to the baseline 2009 survey. The possible implications of early changes in ground vegetation composition are discussed. The aim of this paper is to provide a reference to the baseline survey work undertaken at Young Wood. It is hoped that further surveys of soil, ground vegetation and lichens will be undertaken in future, but also that surveys of other measures of biodiversity and of carbon stocks and fluxes, can be commenced.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Wildtrack Publishing
ISBN: 9781904098409
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 11:30
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 11:31


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