About Ast Wood, Aylton, Herefordshire
Ast Wood is is among the hundred largest of Herefordshire’s remaining ancient broadleaved woods, and like most of them, is home to a rich variety of trees, shrubs, flowers & animals; including bluebells, herb paris, daffodils and dormice, which all thrive when sunlight regularly reaches into a wood as different parts of it are coppiced.
Ast Wood has a long history of continuous coppice wood and timber production , but the late 20th century was a bad time for native English woodland; and like many others, this wood suffered neglect, the introduction of areas of planted non-native species, felling of about a third of it for agriculture in the 1970s, and use of the remainder for war games and four wheel driving practice.
Twenty first century aims for this fine wood include retaining or restoring its previous ecological diversity and economic productivity, and increasing its potential to generate local employment and to be an asset to the locality. Measures to promote these aims include re-introducing coppicing in some parts of the wood and selling associated products such as charcoal, hurdles, chestnut poles, garden structures, logs, fencing and so forth; encouraging certain species such as dormice and bats; managing some of the wood for high quality timber production; and in some places - such as those dominated by service trees - tailoring management to a particular tree species.
Rapid change or heavy use can be bad for ancient woodland, so we also try to ensure that too much does not happen too quickly, and that all parts of the wood are periodically left relatively undisturbed.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like further information.