The Stansted Airport Passenger Community Fund recently awarded the Essex Wildlife Trust £1000 towards the Rockell’s Wood Restoration Project. Rockell’s Wood is an ancient wood near Duddenhoe End, and is the last woodland West of the M11 to still contain a population of Oxlips. Oxlips are a nationally scarce wildflower, confined to the area where Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire meet.
The remaining populations are threatened by the increase in the deer population, and the funding provided is to be used as part of the Oxlip Woods Living Landscapes to fund temporary fencing in Rockell’s Wood which will be used to protect areas of woodland which have been coppiced. Coppicing trees is a traditional method of woodland management and it helps to promote a good woodland structure, which encourages the growth of Oxlips and other wildflowers.
The fencing prevents the deer from destroying the new growth from the coppiced trees, as well as protecting the Oxlips and other wildflowers such as wood anemone and bluebells.
The photo below shows Liz Brassington presenting the a cheque from the Stansted Airport Passenger Community Fund to Graham Foxall from Essex Wildlife Trust.