Excellent report and photos by Steve on the recent Colden walk. In it Steve mentions Beech that have been marked for felling near the rock outcrops, probably a while ago he suggests.

I remember Steve, myself and Hugh Firman looking for the rare Mountain Melic grass on those calcareous outcrops many years ago (was it 8 years?). We remarked that it was far too shady with the even aged Beech for most plants to survive, never mind the rare grass. So some Beech were marked up for felling but like lots of agreed plans, nothing has happened since.

Five years ago, most of Colden Clough gained a woodland management plan, which can be viewed on Forest Plans website http://forestplans.co.uk/colden-clough/   (Very little publicity was given to these plans, so the opportunity for comments was limited).

Under this plan, a few trees were felled near the lower bridge a couple of years ago and a few have been ring-barked but not much management has happened since. Yet many more trees have been planted to add to the numbers that need removing.

If you are in a hole stop digging–if you are in a dense woodland stop planting.

The potentially lovely wildlife dams in the Colden valley are extremely shaded by self-seeded trees, yet the simple work of coppicing them seems to be beyond all capabilities. There could be sunlight and dragonflies galore without much effort.

Why it is thought that more trees are needed in a woodland, when the very absence of new seedlings is telling the story that light levels are too low for this to happen naturally, is a puzzle equal to Fermat’s Last Theorem.

                    Hundreds of new plantings amongst too many ‘telegraph poles’ with sparse crowns
                                             

                                         This is a better bit in Colden with spaced out Oaks