Over a hundred years ago large areas of the English countryside were covered in lowland heath which was kept free of trees by grazing livestock, and by people cutting birch and gorse for firewood. These practices are no longer common, and heathland is now a rare and declining habitat. Much heathland has been built on, converted to pine plantations (as on St Faith’s Common), or allowed to revert back to scrubland covered in gorse, birch, pine and oak trees.
Another example of a heathland is Mousehold Heath in the city of Norwich. In Tudor times, the heath stretched as far north as South Walsham and was 22 miles round. Up until the early 1900s, Mousehold Heath was open countryside with few trees – a classic heathland landscape. The area was kept open by grazing animals and by local people collecting bedding and feed for livestock and fuel for the winter. As the way people lived changed, these traditions disappeared. This resulted in a gradual loss of open heath to scrub and woodland.
Today, only a small section of the heath remains where it is mostly covered by broad-leaved semi-natural woodland, although some areas of heath remain and are actively managed.
We offer an initial session with you to discuss your personal objectives and requirements for your site. Following on from this, we will provide a quotation for producing a detailed proposal for your site which may include some of the following areas:
- A detailed management plan for the site
- Detail work plans indicating how long the work will take and when
- Financial budgets for the work involved
- Plans for organising and delivering the site management work
- Contractor management considerations
- Site risk assessments
- Seasonal considerations
- Public consultations (information sessions for public awareness)
- Managing the encroachment of saplings, gorse and bracken
- Maintaining a balance between the ratio of heather to gorse
- Developing and maintaining heathland specific species
- Arranging ecological surveys and volunteer training.