Coombs Wood, Cumbria, England

GALLERY 11

Plantation forest established in the 1950s and now being transformed to continuous cover forestry

Site visits: 2015-2020

Coombs Wood is a fine, though relatively small woodland (103 ha) within the North England Forest District of Forestry England. The wood is approximately 1 km from the village of Armathwaite, Cumbria, and is an integral feature of a mixed pastoral and wooded valley landscape. Acquired as a freehold woodland in 1952, it was planted between 1954 and 1958 with conifer species, including Scots pine, lodgepole pine, larch, western hemlock, grand fir and Douglas fir. In 2006 most of the forest was designated as Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAW’s) or Ancient Semi Natural Woodland (ASNW). This status dictates that there is a presumption in favour of native species into the future. Other features include the River Eden, which forms the western boundary of the forest, and excellent examples of “cross-bedding” geological formations. From a silvicultural perspective, Coombs Wood is in the process of transformation from an even-aged plantation to continuous cover forestry (CCF). The mature stands have been managed on a regular cycle of thinning interventions. As a result, there is significant natural regeneration and stand structural development. Shade tolerant conifer species predominate in the understorey, but there is also an increasing proportion of broadleaved species adding to the diversity and attractiveness of the woodland. Photos: Nikon F100; Agfa Precisa 100 slide film, scanned, edited.

Further information about Coombs Wood: Forestry England Website

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