Rhododendrons for the chop in Welwyn Hatfield woodland

WORK to restore parts of an ancient wood will begin next week.

Around 2.5 acres of “invasive” rhododendron will be removed from Gobions Wood, between Brookmans Park and Little Heath, before being replaced by a selection of trees and shrubs native to the British Isles.

The project, which is being funded by a grant from the Forestry Commission, will be carried out by the woodland’s owners, the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT).

It is hoped the work will help improve the biodiversity of the 42 acre site.

Stephen Bound, HMWT reserves manager, said: “We appreciate that the rhododendron is a beautiful plant when in flower and some people may be disappointed to see it removed.

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“However, apart from being an invasive, non-native species it is also poisonous to mammals and insects and, in addition, poisons the soil around it.

“Combined with the fact that it casts extremely dense shade, it reduces the numbers of insects, birds, flowering plants and earthworms in areas where it grows – thus reducing the biodiversity of a site.”

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It is anticipated the work will be completed by the end of January.

For more information call HMWT on 01727 858901

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