What's Going On?
July 2021 – We welcomed judges from the Royal Welsh Show Forestry competition (North Wales) where we are entered in the Broadleaf Woodland over 15 hectares category.
April to July 2021 – This woodland is vulnerable to bark stripping by grey squirrels. A successful season of squirrel control has protected our tree health and timber potential.
Who's Seen What?
Welcome to Bron Haul
Unfortunately, they do not fit in with our ecosystems and are an absolute disaster for our native woodland and red squirrel populations. The problem they pose for woodland is their habit of bark stripping trees between April and July. This is possibly a behaviour particularly displayed by growing youngsters and lactating females who are looking for calcium-rich food. The result in our woodlands is damaged trees that will neither produce quality timber, reach their potential sequestering carbon, cleaning air or regulating water nor replace the majestic veteran trees that are our woodlands’ biodiversity treasure troves.
We have been running a rigourous squirrel control programme here since 2007 and have suffered very little damage as a result. It is the major reason why we attract prizes in woodland management competitions. However, some of the beech trees in this area were damaged before this squirrel control began and a few of these have been retained as examples of how the entire woodland would look without this important work. Can you spot the damaged trees?
We run squirrel control courses and are happy to talk to you about this sensitive issue. Find out more about grey squirrels and the efforts being made to control them on a national scale by visiting the UK Squirrel Accord website.
Visit the UK Squirrel Accord website
Fallow Deer Study
The woodland you see around you was planted in 1995, and at this time the deer population was small enough that they were not a problem for woodland establishment. Since then, numbers have increased and their range expanded. When Coed Ty Brown, about a mile upstream, was planted 13 years ago, the site needed expensive fencing to exclude the deer. We also had to deer fence before we planted at Bron Haul in 2014.
Since we are converting our woodland plantation to continuous cover forestry, it will rely on continual natural regeneration to restock which will not be possible if the grazing pressure of the deer population is too high.
This woodland sub-compartment is being used by Bangor University PhD students Amy Gresham and Owain Barton who are studying deer movements and feeding habits across a number of woodlands throughout the Elwy Valley. We look forward to hearing the results of their work.
Enjoy your visit!