A deer fence has gone up around and within Ferry Wood. For most of its length it follows the wood boundary, separating it from the surrounding pasture, but for a few hundred metres it runs through the wood itself.
The aim of the fence is to encourage regeneration of the understorey or shrub layer in the oak woodland unit. The layer is currently non-existent apart from a couple of heavily browsed clumps of hazel and areas of willow where the ground is waterlogged. Holly, rowan and birch should all make a comeback. It should also result in a more diverse herb layer, although in the short term an increase in bramble and bracken is inevitable.
We now have a great opportunity to monitor vegetational change in parallel areas both within and without the deer fence, comparing them in a systematic way. We will also be able monitor grazing effects on areas freshly cleared of rhododendron.
If you know of someone who’d be interested in setting up a monitoring project, do get in touch! They are welcome to stay for free in the cabin.