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RESTORED WOODS: Restoration to bring Watford’s ancient Whippendell Wood back to life

 Published on: 16th January 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

A long-term plan to restore Whippendell Wood in Watford back to its true and natural historic state has been revealed.

Watford Borough Council (WBC), which maintains the wood, will be working alongside Natural England, Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust, and will be gradually removing invasive non-native trees over the next five years.

Native trees will be planted or allowed to grow back naturally over that time.

The non-native conifers add little benefit to the plants and wildlife in the local area and over the years have stopped native plants from growing and wildlife from flourishing.

Returning the ancient woodland to its natural state will be beneficial for the local area.

Native trees such as birch and rowan will quickly start to grow in the area.

Ancient woodland is land that has been continuously wooded since 1600.

Restoration involves the gradual removal of conifers from a plantation, to allow a greater amount of light to penetrate the woodland canopy, encouraging specialist ancient woodland species to recover and reverse years of damage. 

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “Whippendell Woods is a real gem which is enjoyed by thousands of people each year. However, there is work to be done to make it a healthy woodland. Looking after our environment and making Watford a greener town is so important so I’m really pleased we are starting these works. Woodlands need to be managed to ensure they can be enjoyed by future generations. The scheme will help us to keep the woods healthy for many more years.”

Whippendell Wood is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England, which means it is protected by law to conserve its wildlife and geology.

For more information and the latest updates about the project, visit

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