Pole 4

Woodland management

The project included various woodland management activities with the main aim to allow more light to reach the woodland floor and facilitate regeneration of ground flora. On your way to this pole you passed a woodland area where ornamental species were planted in the past. Many of these species were evergreen (e.g. cherry laurel, rhododendron, cotoneaster) and these, together with the native holly and bramble (both of which are abundant in the woodland), shaded out woodland floor plants. These species were removed but will likely regrow and continued management will be needed to keep these species in control. The cuttings were used to create various habitat features in the woodland, including habitat piles and the two Stag beetle loggeries that you can see in this glade which were created by the Sixth Lewisham South Scout Group in March 2024.

Stag beetles (Lucanus cervus) are a globally threatened species, they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and a priority species in Lewisham. Southeast England and London is a hotspot for stag beetles, and they need decaying dead wood to complete their lifecycle. Loggeries are large logs of wood sunk approximately 60cm into the ground, in partially shaded areas.

Stag beetle loggery in the making by the Sixth Lewisham South Scout Group

Standing deadwood is also valuable for stag beetles and many other species of birds, insects, and fungi, so we have aimed to create some here by coronet cutting two younger trees that were growing into the canopies of mature oak trees. This is also called ‘halo clearance’ which is used to help veteran or future veteran trees by reducing shading and competition for light by other trees or vegetation.

See before and during/after photos of the halo clearance around the large oaks in this area.

Large oak in the left side of the area after and before clearance

Large oak in the right side of the area before and during coronet cutting (spot the tree surgeon!)

This trail was created as part of the Ancient Woodland Restoration project delivered by Lewisham Council in partnership with the Friends of Forster Memorial Park in 2023-24. The aim of the project was to improve the park both for biodiversity and the local community.

The project was part of the second round of the Rewild London Fund supported by the Mayor of London, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust.

Click here to go to Pole 5