Glendun Oak Woodland: Increasing links between ancient woodland fragments.
The current project in north Antrim will increase the connectivity between two areas of ancient woodlands that were planted in the 1840s.
Creating an increased link between two ancient woodland fragments will create more habitat for the endangered Red Squirrel. Scots Pine, an important food species for Red Squirrels and both species of native Oak, once common in the region, are hugely important for biodiversity and will be the main species planted.
Growing trees will sequester large amounts of Co2 and are important in combating climate change.
Aims and Actions
- To increase carbon sequestration for climate change protection
- To increase percentage of predominantly native woodland in Ireland
- To protect native Red Squirrels and other woodland species by increasing links between two areas of existing ancient woodland.
- Site preparation will involve intensive grazing to reduce the grass height, followed by hand planting of trees in the dormant season (Autumn/Winter).
- Planting will be at a rate of 2500 whips (trees of 50 to 80cms) per hectare, with 50% Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea), 25% Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) and 25% Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris).
There will be increased connectivity between two areas of ancient woodland, with the total area connected reaching approximately 32 hectares. While small on a global scale, this is a significant woodland in an Irish context. This is one of the largest areas of contiguous deciduous dominated woodland in County Antrim.
This project will link the Ancient Woodland of Cregagh Wood more fully with an outlying woodland fragment. This will increase overall function for a wide range of species including the vulnerable Red Squirrel.