2019 ICF & Confor South East England: Ash diebackBook now
Cinque Ports Training Area (CPTA) – Managing military training and access alongside ash dieback
In conjunction with Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Landmarc Support Services Ltd. and Euroforest, Confor and the Institute of Chartered Foresters are pleased to invite you to their June field meeting. The focus of the meeting will be on how these woodlands, infected with ash dieback, are being managed to provide a ‘safe place to train’ for the military alongside forestry operations – taking due regard for health and safety and what our future intentions for these woodlands are, in terms of site clearance, planting, and regeneration.
Chalara dieback of ash, is one of the most significant fungal pathogens to be introduced to Britain in recent years, and its spread represents a major challenge to the management of woodlands on the MoD estate, not just here in Kent – but elsewhere in the UK. The works being carried out in Kent are leading the way on the MoD assess and manage their woodland resource elsewhere in the UK and this visit will highlight how they have tackled the planning and delivery of this and what lessons they are learning, moving forward to other locations.
The area being visited is part of a 90+ha woodland complex at Watersend. It is primarily coppiced mixed broadleaves – ash, hazel, and hornbeam, with some field maple, and sweet chestnut, with oak and sweet chestnut standards. The woodland composition is a mix of all species, but there are areas of pure ash, which have been wholly infected with dieback, and which can be clearly seen. The site is MoD freehold and found in an area dominated by ancient semi-natural woodland and surrounded by agricultural grazing pastures. The area is also a SSSI – for the rich variety of woodland flora present.
On a day to day basis, this location is an important ‘dry’ training area for the military, using the undulating ground, woodland, and hedges for cover and the utilisation of blank ammunition and pyrotechnics.
The woodland visit will be followed by a tour of the Kent Renewable Energy biomass plant.
Thanks are due to Major Rick Bevan (Senior Training Safety Officer CPTA) for his kind agreement in the use of the Watersend woodlands for the morning visit and Euroforest for hosting the afternoon presentations and tour.