Mak­ing the most of wood­land

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

My friends and I are tak­ing over some land that hasn’t been shot for two or three years — how best should we use the wood­land for a pheas­ant shoot? What should we clear, what should we keep and where is the best place for us to site the pheas­ant pens?

It is a lit­tle late to do any­thing this year but if you al­ready have the shoot in hand, spend the win­ter get­ting to know it and start plan­ning your re­lease sites and drives. A good guide, though it should only be a guide — as there is no guar­an­tee that your pre­de­ces­sors made best use of the ground — would be to look at the old pens, and try to find out how the days had been run pre­vi­ously.

Your re­lease site should be warm and wel­com­ing, and in the mid­dle of the shoot if pos­si­ble. Re­mem­ber that a re­lease pen should in­clude trees that pro­vide low roost­ing, for when the poults are first re­leased, and open spaces for sun­bathing and dry­ing off, as well as be­ing shel­tered from the pre­vail­ing wind.

I wouldn’t do too much wood­land man­age­ment in your first year, other than swip­ing and open­ing up the rides, as it will take you a while to find out what works and what doesn’t, and even then, there will be a cer­tain amount of ad­just­ing year on year. LB

For more ad­vice on get­ting the most out of wood­land, visit www. wood­landtrust.org.uk.

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