Funding new machinery to help West Kent Downs Countryside Trust enhance Cobham Woods
The Lower Thames Crossing has provided the West Kent Downs Countryside Trust with £85,000 funding to support its plans to enhance Cobham Woods and keep 6km of tracks clear for walkers and cyclists.
Cobham Woods is a 242.7 hectares biological Site of Special Scientific Interest on the eastern edge of Gravesham Borough in Kent.
The funding from the Lower Thames Crossing project has helped the Trust go above and beyond its responsibility to manage rare plants in nearby farmland, breeding birds, and invertebrates such as worms, which help to enrich the soil.
- A new piece of machinery was purchased to help thin out the woodland and remove invasive species of trees and plants.
- A wide range of plants and trees, which are more resilient to climate change were planted, which will enhance and create robust woodland and longevity.
- Vegetation was cleared and repairs made to 6km of tracks to make them more usable for walkers and cyclists.
- Invasive scrub was removed to give ground level plants and trees a better chance of survival, as well as providing increased foraging opportunities for birds and bats.
- Views across the woodland have been maintained and reintroduced giving visitors a better view of a variety of landscape features and points of interest, including a mausoleum and views of Cobham Hall.
In addition, the enhancements will also benefit various plots of land within the Cobham Estate which falls under unknown ownership, which would otherwise remain unmanaged. This improves all areas to make them better for everyone.
Mike Adams, Trust Secretary, explains the benefits of receiving the funding:
“West Kent Downs Countryside owns and manages an area of woodland near Cobham, Kent, which was previously divided into leisure plots in the19 70s. We are acquiring these plots with the ambition to donate them all to a national charity and keep them available to the public forever.
In the meantime, we manage the woodland by removing invasive tree species and planting native local species. We are aiming for a diverse habitat which will cope with global warming as well as possible and will promote a variety of insects and birds by building ponds etc”
Our new machine is already proving very useful - for example for pulling tree stumps out of our chalk grassland area. I do not think that we would have been able to cope with the increased workload without the assistance of it.”
"Our new machine is already proving very useful - for example for pulling tree stumps out of our chalk grassland area. I do not think that we would have been able to cope with the increased workload without the assistance of it."Mike Adams, Trust Secretary