IF you’ve been out and about catching some fresh air at Swinley Forest during the second national lockdown you may have seen several trees piled up at the popular outdoors spot.

That’s because ‘timber harvesting’ is taking place at the site, which lies just south-east of Bracknell.

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The Crown Estate is carrying out the work as part of its sustainable management of the forest, a notice read on their website.

Felling the trees for timber has many uses: it can produce wood for construction, fencing and landscaping materials, create animal bedding, or for the production of biomass to generate heat and energy.

Bracknell News:

Richard Everett, Chief Forester at the Crown Estate, told the News more about the work taking place, which generates around 10,000 tonnes of timber per year.

He said: “Much of this timber comes from selective thinning, which involves removing a small proportion of the trees within an area, and some from clear-felling once the trees have reached maturity.

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“These areas are then replanted and the cycle starts all over again.

“The timber produced on the Estate is sent to local sawmills and wood processors to be made into construction, landscaping and fencing products as well as shavings for animal bedding and biomass for the generation of heat and power.

Bracknell News:

“Swinley Forest is internationally recognised as an important habitat for rare ground-nesting birds.

“The rotational open space and replanted areas provide the perfect habitat for these birds to thrive, alongside other rare species of reptiles and insects.

“Parts of the forest are also important for the very old trees that slowly decay, providing another very important deadwood habitat.

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“Work is constantly ongoing to ensure that these habitats are managed in good condition and that the forest is an interesting and exciting place for people to visit.”

The Crown Estate is asking visitors to be aware the “dangerous” work taking place involves the use of large machinery.

Walkers should keep “well clear” of the equipment and should observe warning signs and directions from operators.