Veteran trees are important components of the landscape for their ecological, social, cultural and historic value. The Forestry Commission recognises that Sherwood Forest is a special place for veteran trees and recently commissioned FPCR to undertake assessments of some of their veterans within the Birklands wood section (now one of the most important sites for ancient trees in England) to help them establish what they could do to help preserve the longevity of some of the most vulnerable specimens.
Our veteran tree team attended site with one of our senior bat ecologists in tow to assess both structural and physiological conditions of a number of the most vulnerable veteran trees. Data was digitally recorded and used to provide specific management objectives along with work recommendations whilst incorporating how these works could take place whilst considering roosting bats at all times. Sherwood Forest is home to at least 7 species of bat and during the survey we discovered a likely bat roost in one of the veteran trees. Some of our recommendations included continuing the haloing (the management of competitive understorey vegetation) which the FC have undertaken at the site for many years, minor crown reduction works and structural stabilisation works where we felt it was appropriate to do so considering the local foraging bat communities at all times.
Once these management works take place in the coming months, the health of these veterans should improve and lengthen their already very long lives, some of which will have been around when Henry VIII was on the throne!