Peat Pits Wood
New Buildings Farm took over Peat Pits Wood, Alderwasley when it was sold at the end of 2008. This wood was previously owned by the Forestry Commission. The Forestry Commission granted open access to the woodland, so you are free to walk around the wood.
It was used for experimental plantings of various non–native softwood species during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Since then, little has been done to the wood.
It is our intention, with the approval of the Forest Commission, to convert this conifer plantation back to native broadleaved woodland and traditional coppice. It lies next to Shining Cliff Wood which is an SSSI and rich in flora and fauna. It is hoped that allowing the natural regeneration of birch, rowan, oak and sweet chestnut will result in an significant improvement in the diversity of wildlife and flowers in Peat Pits Wood. The woodland areas will likely be similar in character to Shining Cliff Woods further down the hill, since the soil and situation is much the same.
The major clear fell of the diseased Corsican Pine is now complete and the disruption caused by the machines and loads of timber being removed should be over. We will continue to thin the remaining conifers gradually over the next ten years, using our own resources. This will make some clearings and let in light.
The benefits of this management can already be seen with more varied ground flora and bird life.
The challenge now is to encourage the regeneration of a good crop of varied broad–leaved trees – oak, sweet chestnut, beech and ash – where the felling has taken place. Coppice re–growth is already starting from the stumps of the felled hardwoods. A healthy crop of birch seedlings have also appeared.
Changing the nature of a wood is a long term process. Letting in more light and increasing the number of different species of trees in the wood will continue the improvement.
We are delighted so many people enjoy the wood but please consider other users while you are here and take rubbish home. Fell runners and orienteers will be here in the coming months. If anyone is considering organising an event during the year please get in touch so dates don’t clash.
So what will be happening in the wood?
Now the Corsican pine at the western end of the wood has been cleared, that area will be encouraged to regrow with native broadleaved species. The rest of the wood will have the remaining conifers thinned out gradually as we tidy up the wood.