Apley woodlands extends to 1000 acres Estate wide, representing almost 12 percent of the Estate, therefore we have invested our time heavily in our Woodland Management Plan. Apley has a Forestry Commission approved Management Plan and a Natural England approved Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. The aim of these schemes is to manage the woodlands in a number of ways, to allow us to produce timber sustainably, make environmental improvements, replacing non-native species such as Oak and improve biodiversity by making openings in the canopy to benefit and enable the ground flora to flourish.
The trees and woodlands in our community are a valuable carbon store, so too are the soils in which they stand. Trees have a variety of beneficial abilities such as removing atmospheric carbon dioxide as they grow which in turn counter balances the harmful effects of global warming. Trees can adapt to climate change helping to reduce the effects of urban heat islands and help mitigate against river and surface water flooding, which themselves have a carbon cost. Woodlands can store up to 80 tonnes per acre in above ground biomass, our soils can store a further 12 tonnes per acre, so our woodlands already stores 92,000 tonnes of carbon, which is the equivalent to the average carbon output of 11,000 people.
The Apley Woodland Management Plan includes harvesting of carefully selected trees, re-planting, managing our plantations and new planting, and removing and controlling invasive species that detrimentally effect the biodiversity and health of our woodlands. Apley will be planting new woodlands and extending pre-existing wooded areas, some of this work may require upgrading current access into our woodlands by improving forest tracks. Investment in our woodlands is part of our very long term strategy and multi-generational approach to the management of the Estate.