General information on the forests of the Abbey St Bathans.
|Forest community||A patchwork of small stands with predominantly coniferous single-aged, single-species sub-compartments (0.5 - 1 ha) on valley sides and as shelter-belts on the hill-tops, and ancient oak woodlands on the steepest slopes.|
|Total forest area||278 ha, divided over:|
– 210 ha of conifer dominated stands
– 22 ha of ancient oak woodlands (of which 15 ha is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest)
– 16 ha of recently established native woodland to expand and connect the ancient woodland sites
– 30 ha of open land and set asides within larger woodland areas
|Main management type||– Transition from clearcutting to continuous cover forestry with small gaps (<0.5 ha) and single tree selection of the conifer dominated stands|
– Based on the yield class, thinning every 4–5 years, slightly over the annual increment rate to bring stocking down
– Steady small-scale regeneration (<0.25 ha) of the ancient oak woodlands
|Standing volume||– Averages 550 m³/ha in the conifer stands.|
– 75 m³/ha in the ancient oak woodland
|Annual increment||– Averages roughly 3 m³/ha in the conifer stands|
– 1–2 m³/ha in the ancient oak woodland
|Annual harvest volume||– 700 m³/year in the conifer stands|
– 0 m³/ha/year in the ancient oak woodland. Plans to allow for more light in some areas to enhance regeneration
|Ownership||Private family owned and managed|
|Climate||– approx. 7.7 °C mean annual temperature;|
– approx. 760 mm mean average precipitation
|Altitude||Between 120–250 meters above sea level|
|Soil and geology||– Brown earth soils of moderate fertility with forests planted on the poorer and steeper sites.|
– The top soil is thin, resting on bedrock made up of Gala group greywack – rock fragments of hard sandstone.
|Protected area||– Most of the 22 ha of ancient oak woodland is designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).|
– Smaller self-imposed retention areas of open land and edges in woodlands are maintained for diversity and conservation. They amount to about 32 ha in total.