Tree cover on the estate forms a mosaic of ancient oaks, parkland, and commercial timber. The commercial softwood timber was planted between 1910 and 1960, with a few new plantings later.
Some of the veteran trees are very old. Certainly, we know that the diary of a forebear Ensign John Mills tells in 1813 how he looked forward to returning from the Peninsula War and camping under the oriental plane – which still stands outside the Manor.
Unless they present a danger to people, trees are left to grow, mature and die of their own accord. This means that both giant veterans and young sapling compete amongst old and dying trees.
From the commercial plantations, timber is thinned every 15 years or so. The theory is that the thinnings give the owner the cash crop, and the remaining trees grow more vigorously, so that the operation is sustainable.
Skilled Forestry work by a local contractor
The thinnings are extracted by a sophisticated contractor’s machine, which fells the tree, takes off the side branches and cuts the stem up into lengths (controlled by a computer that optimises the value according to the current market prices) ….
and “forwarded” to the trackside to be loaded on to timber lorries. Here is another great piece of deceptively difficult work done with the minimum of fuss:
The estate also has a small firewood enterprise, which delivers well-seasoned dry hardwood logs locally.