This extensive project on Lowther Estate will create a new (predominantly coniferous) mixed woodland, which will help local wildlife by linking existing blocks of estate forestry, creating a woodland corridor that joins the southern part of the property with important pasture woodlands in the historic, listed park. As such, the new planting will also help to integrate the existing estate forests into the wider landscape, by blending broadleaves in with the conifers to create a mixed woodland vista rather than blocks of plantation forestry. The woodland will be managed using Continuous Cover Forestry techniques – meaning a gradual thinning and re-planting, leading to an all-aged forest with no clear-felling. This is known in Europe as ‘Close to Nature Forestry’.
The Estate has also worked closely with local river trusts during the design phase of this project, to ensure that it delivers flood mitigation benefits to the wider catchment (including downstream Carlisle). The Eden River Trust has overseen the meandering of small becks throughout the project area and also the creation of a large pond to the north of the woodland. This is out-with the project’s planting area but very much part of its grand design.