I remember this field below Green Lane, Lumb Bank at Heptonstall, being quite open before self-seeded Birch, Sycamore and Oak filling it up. A nice woodland in the making but just going over now.

Every time I pass by, my first impressions are of a congested and increasingly shady woodland; crying out for some good thinning before it looses all ground flora and the light demanding Oaks become degraded and derelict.

Imagine my surprise to find that instead of reducing the number of trees, much of this woodland has been underplanted with yet more of them!

Even without knowing which species have been planted, it is difficult to know why this has been done. As can be seen from the photos, the light levels in the woodland are fairly dim and the fact that even grass won’t grow on the bare and shady ground should tell something about the optimism of the planters.

It would be very interesting to discover if anyone knows who did the work and can give an update of the management plan. I am keen to know and quite prepared to praise them for good ideas and my comments are a load of nonsense.
Calderdale Council owns much land in Colden, I do hope they are not responsible.

But I have seen the same underplanting happen in many other woodlands and the saplings have failed to survive.

Woodlands are not made by numbers, it is often the spaces and glades that give them a purpose.


There is an Oak tree here destined to be ruined by new planting.
Keep the glade open and let it grow.

Young Oak on left and right at risk from new planting. No room for any more trees.
 

A small glade with vegetation now under threat

Existing trees need thinning. Shade will inhibit any growth
Some thinning on left has taken place but nowhere near enough to be meaningful