Greenhills Woods, Townhouse Road

You may recall in September 2016 we obtained a licence from the Forestry Commission to fell 0.99 hectares of Corsican Pine, because the crop was coming to the end of its ecological life. The logs have been removed and sold for £11,500 to help cover our felling costs.

After a quick trawl with a metal detector by local enthusiast Maurice, at the end of August, a Forestry Mulcher was hired to prepare the site. Forestry mulching is a land clearing method that uses a single machine to cut, grind and clear vegetation. Owned by a Lincolnshire based company, it has spent most of this year in Norfolk and travelled by low-loader from Melton Constable. Driven by 24-year-old Sam, it used 800 litres of fuel and took all day to grind the smaller surplus logs and debris, to prepare the site adequately. The timing was important, as we knew we needed to replant soon after. We also decided to leave a small area in the middle we called 'green shoots of recovery', which had grown over the past few years, and have identified some ideal locations for benches, and will allow for footpaths.

The replanting scheme will see 1,100 broadleaf trees planted by volunteers during the National Tree Week commencing on 30th November. Costessey resident and South Norfolk Tree Warden Pauline Williamson will lead on the arrangements with Retired Policeman Henry Gowman. Unfortunately, the current restrictions on numbers of people gathering has meant we have changed our plans around local volunteer and school engagement. Volunteers will be by invitation, and the majority are all residents who enjoy using the woods regularly.

Pauline and Henry have helped us obtain a grant from Bussey's Cars which will cover the full costs of new trees and shields, we just need to buy some spades!

A mix of broadleaves including sweet chestnut, silver birch, and beech will be planted in zones, with oak- lined footpaths and hazel around the clearings. Initial thoughts were to plant them in a rainbow display, but after further consideration, and to give them the best chance of survival, they will be in 'pockets' taking into account which ones are best suited to the amount of light cast over them as the seasons change. We were reminded that during the 2018 heatwave many plants did not survive the high temperatures including some of those along the Northern Distributor A1270. Doing this will also make it easier to adhere to a management plan. There are some other trees in the woodland which need attention, so for a couple of days during October access will be restricted. The temporary site entrance on Townhouse Road will be required for a bit longer before a hedgerow is planted to reinstate the boundary. Pauline Williamson can be contacted on 01603 742491

21st October 2020

During National Tree Planting Week, from 30th Nov to Saturday 5th December, we (Costessey Town Council) will be aiming to replant the area at the top of Greenhills Wood created by the felling of the aging, diseased Corsican Pine plantation with 1100 native hardwood species of trees, in line with the conditions of the Forestry Commission when they granted the original felling licence. These trees, their supports and the tree guards are being supplied free through the South Norfolk Tree Warden Network, through their sponsorship link with Busseys, the Peugeot agents.

We hope to involve the community in this tree planting, but with the Covid restrictions, we cannot open this opportunity to lots of community groups such as schools as widely as we had previously hoped. For this reason, we shall be planting during the week with smaller groups of planters, and social distancing will be implemented. It is likely, if we have a lot of volunteers, that we shall organise morning and afternoon sessions. The planting workforce will be generated by invitation, hence my email to you!

If you would be keen to assist, perhaps with members of your family and neighbours, please email me back, supplying the following details:

Names of all volunteers, and ages (children under 16 only)

Day of the week available to plant

Morning or afternoon session preference

Contact email address and telephone number

I look forward to hear from you. Keep safe. Pauline Williamson p_m_williamson@hotmail.com

Last updated: Wed, 21 Oct 2020 09:02