Ennerdale's forest is one of the valleys Big Four features along with its Mountains, Lake and Rivers. Our management of the forest is aimed at allowing it to develop as a more diverse habitat with a dynamic mosaic of mixed species, open glades, dense patches, cathedral sized big trees, deadwood, open woodland, windblown trees and of course wildlife and people.

Dead Larch Trees

During 2013 and 2014 some of our larch trees have been affected by the destructive Phytophthora Ramorum disease. In response we have felled some trees and treated others with a herbicide stem application which caused them to die.

Whilst we are sad to lose our larch trees the forest is already regenerating and we are going to help this natural process by planting around 100,000 native trees under the areas of treated larch over the next few years.

Help prevent the disease spreading by removing mud from your boots and conifer needles from your clothing before leaving Ennerdale.

Dead Wood

Dead wood is an important indicator of biodiversity providing habitats for animals, insects, lichen, mosses, bryophytes and fungi. It also helps to store water and improves soil chemistry. Over summer 2013, Jenny Woodman , a student from Newcastle University carried out an investigation into the levels of  dead wood in Ennerdale. Jenny discovered that in the plantation conifer forest dead wood was around 18m3 per hectare. Compare this to the ancient woodland of Side Wood where Jenny found the figure is just over 70m3 per hectare.

Jenny’s data compares favourably to guidelines suggested  by the Forestry Commission of  40-100m3  within ancient semi-natural woodlands like Side Wood and 20-40m3  within managed plantations and secondary woodlands.