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.
Timber Harvesting 26th June 2021
All routes are open. Thank you for your patience over the last 2 years. We have finished the tree harvesting work in the valley however please look out for timber lorries along the forest roads and public road to and from the valley.
Will the felled areas be replanted?
Yes we have already replanted two areas at Crag and Bowness Knott. The remaining felled areas will be replanted over the next couple of years. We will replant with suitable native species such as Scots pine, birch and juniper. In the valley bottom the planting will be open and clumpy to maintain views and encourage a natural riparian woodland to develop.
What about the larch that are going brown?
Sadly, like some other woods in Cumbria, Phytophthora larch disease has reappeared in Ennerdale this Spring. As a result you may see brown or dead trees along the Smithy Beck trail, lake shore and other areas of the valley. We are legally required to fell or kill standing these trees and a buffer around them to try and reduce the spread of the disease. We are developing plans to start this work in the Autumn.
Please check the visitor information which will be posted around the valley's main entrances. car parks and on facebook.
If you have any questions about the work please contact Gareth Browning who is the Forestry England forester and Wild Ennerdale partner responsible for the operations.
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.
Dead Larch Trees
During 2013 and 2014 some of our larch trees have been affected by the destructive Phytophthora ramorum larch 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. We have planted over 50,000 native trees under the areas of treated larch over the last few years and will continue to underplant trees untill we are happy that the forest is fully regenerated. Our squirrel monitoring show that although dead, the larch trees are stil being used by squirrels as a route around the valley.
Help prevent the disease spreading by removing mud from your boots and conifer needles from your clothing before leaving Ennerdale.