Rhododendron Wood is an ancient woodland site, part of a large mixed woodland landscape within the Blackdown Hills AONB.
The Woodland Trust approached Viridor Credits to help with the continuing restoration of this site and protect it from a known tree disease, Phytophthora ramorum, which can be hosted by rhododendron. Removing these plants will help supress outbreaks of this disease.
Once cleared, the area will be restored to a sustainable mixture of acidic oak woodland and heathland type vegetation through a combination of natural regeneration of heathland vegetation, and the planting of native broadleaf trees. With generous and essential funding awarded by Viridor Credits, the Woodland Trust has been able to start the 3-year project to clear and manage regrowth of rhododendron in the woods. The Trust has already observed several species return, including Night Jars and Red Starts flying above and heather and various sedges on the ground.
Over the next year, the site will be monitored to assess how much regrowth of rhododendron there is on site. This will then be removed to ensure the biodiversity of the site will flourish, and that a natural habitat will establish.