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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

State of Mametz Wood

Michael Thomson

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Hi. About a year ago I saw a thread saying that Mametz Wood was undergoing substantial felling. I understand that this is part of the normal upkeep of a wood or forest.


I visited this May and definitely noticed that it had been thinned out. 


Does anybody know if that thinning out has continued? I don't venture into the wood itself as it is private property but from the Welsh Dragon memorial it definitely looked thinner and more sparse than September 2017 when I previously visited.


Hopefully the boundaries and shape of the Wood will remain unchanged.

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yes, it is a continual process for woodland owners, establishes new growth and feeds the needs for logs for chauffage. most woodland is privately owned and no trespassing signs posted.

woodlands usually maintain the same shape , thinning out the dead wood although stumps are usually left and those near roadsides normally sprout from the bottom again.

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Regular procedure on my environmental tasks, to allow sunshine in to reduce mud on paths and encourage flora and fauna - recently 109 moth species have been noted in one wood where we work. We remove some trees to allow others to flourish, saving "materials" - stakes and binders (long thin flexible branches)  - to practice traditional hedge-laying skills. Willow (found not so much in woodland as near water) is harvested for basket-making (which is therapeutic).


Dead wood is left where we find it, unless dangerous, such as close to a path. Whether still standing or on the ground, it provides great habitats for insects. Trunks are cut into logs, which are piled up to become habitats.


We often coppice, cutting trees almost to ground level, sometimes leaving "leaders" - immature shoots - that grow. The stump will often generate fresh shoots, that need to be protected from deer, who love to nibble them.



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My pleasure.  Being volunteers, we can be self-indulgent in what we do, leaving the wood rather neater than a contractor would. Indeed, sometimes we go on to a site to tidy up after contractors have chainsawed - as has been the case at


Rushall Farm


which introduces young people to the countryside. Because of such public access, a large number of dodgy trees and branches had to be removed by professionals.


Photos taken a few years ago of Mametz Wood show the trees to be very dense.



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