Haddo Forest Plan
The plan proposes to conceive, implement and maintain a long-term strategy to ensure the improvement of the existing woodlands of Haddo Estate. Restructuring of both existing forestry and new planting will assist in increasing Haddo’s contribution to the diversity and character of Scotland’s landscape and woodland.
This will take over from the existing plan which came to an end in March 2011, and will focus on maximising the ecological and environmental value of the Estate’s woodland areas at the same time as increasing their economic output. The restructuring programme will be overseen by a full-time forester as well as by the Estate management. Additional labour will also be called in as required, particularly to work on proposed habitat creation projects which will aim to benefit the UKBAP Priority species that can be found on the Estate.
Although there have been no applications for Rural Development Council (RDC) funding by neighbouring bodies, the Estate has worked closely with the National Trust for Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council to acquire Heritage Lottery funding for the regeneration of the Haddo Country Park. This will include enhancement of the Victoria Avenue and parkland trees.
The Haddo Forest Plan will also focus on the following areas to deliver its strategy:
Forest Soil Condition – a chemical and pollution reduction strategy is already in place and will be monitored to ensure that use of any chemicals is selective and the correct procedures are used for handling and disposal of substances and containers. Harvesting, roading, establishment and maintenance methods will be chosen and timed to minimise potential soil damage.
Water Quality – the Estate liaises closely with the Ythan District Fishery Board and River Superintendent to ensure that all appropriate guidelines for water protection and quality are followed. Water margins and riparian zones will be enhanced where possible. All operations will be carried out to minimise disturbance and avoid pollution with appropriate control measures for high risk operations.
Net Carbon Sequestration – the lower priced products from harvesting operations are used to supply three biomass boilers on the Estate. A further two biomass facilities were installed in early 2011, which will increase demand and maximise the potential of this energy source.
Timber Production – all plantations are well stocked and planted with healthy trees which are suited to site conditions. Production from harvesting is planned and maximised without compromising the woodland.
Nature Conservation – the biodiversity in and around the Estate woodland is conserved and enhanced. There are a number of UKBAP priority species and habitats on the Estate, e.g. red squirrels, and provisions have been made for a number of long-term retention woodland areas to further promote their conservation.
Workforce Safety – only trained and experienced personnel will carry out any forestry work on the Estate, with safe working practices used at all times.
Rural Development – guided walks will be organised through Estate woodland, including visits from groups of local schoolchildren and events organised by the Friends of Haddo Country Park.
Deer Impact – the Deer Management Plan, which was structured according to the guidelines of theScottish Forestry Grant Scheme, expired on 26th July, 2009 (031900366). A new plan has been proposed which will comply with the Deer Commission for Scotland’s Best Practice.
Regeneration – restructuring will take place in the majority of the smaller broadleaved compartments, and areas of windblow will be cleared and planted where possible with native broadleaves to improve age and species composition.
Non-woodland Habitats – these will also be improved to benefit UKBAP priority habitats, especially for red squirrels, and we hope to develop demonstration areas for their conservation.
Heritage – excavation and maintenance of the Bronze Age stone circle following clearfelling at Waterside, and retention of vernacular buildings at sawmill and in plantations.
Summary of Forest Plan Outcomes:
- To conserve, enhance and hopefully restore NELBAP species and habitats.
- To improve conservation of red squirrels. Haddo Estate already has a healthy and increasing population. Work to be carried out under instruction from SWT Red Squirrel Officer.
- To continue to control grey squirrels in the region.
- To create wildlife corridors linking previously isolated woodland compartments.
- To safeguard and enhance the designed landscape, delivering long-term benefits to the maintenance of the designed landscape included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, supporting the diverse range of habitats and associated wildlife.
- To enhance peoples’ experience, understanding and enjoyment of the designed landscape.
- To optimise carbon sequestration potential through expansion of woodlands.
- To manage existing woodlands so as to increase fuel supply.
- To create demonstration areas for red squirrel conservation within existing woodland. NELBAP species are very important to Haddo, and the Estate seeks to provide a unique example of habitat conservation in the North East of Scotland, showing local landowners and Estate managers what can be done to maintain and enhance existing populations and encourage the establishment of new ones.
- To investigate the potential for a visitor centre at the recently discovered Bronze Age Stone Circle, with interpretation boards and guided tours.
- To expand woodland in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
- To allow further enhancement of NELBAP habitats whilst continuing commercial timber production.
- To host guided walks for both the general public and school parties, e.g. permission has already been granted to a group from Banff & Buchan College to use a section of a compartment adjacent to the Haddo Country Park.