Planting: while we don't completely condemn tree planting, it's
better than planting bricks, the methodology and reasons have to be
considered. Natural regeneration is preferable as trees establish
better root systems.
tree planting in the park is on the one hand to remove the golf course
appearance and the planting in straight lines probably only offends the
human eye as being too orderly and unnatural. Time will determine that
some trees dont survive and indeed natural regeneration will take place
between rows 'if left alone'.
that perhaps is the crux of the matter. The straight lines are for
reasons of management meaning mowing between rows to suppress other
plants and allowing for machinery for tree management which in the
commercial timber market means felling or coppicing.
hope that the tree planting is to regenerate woodland and that
any intervention would leave natural regeneration as an
the past mowing around trees has merely damaged them and the space
between rows is not wide enough for tractor drawn mowers. Strimmers
similarly do damage to trees by removing bark at soil level.
will be at least 10 years until any commercial value is in the timber.
Perhaps 100 until the first oaks have a commercial value but we
hope that is not the reason for planting.
reason for 'no intervention' is that machinery rolling over root
systems compacts the soil and negatively effects the growing of the
trees. Botanical gardens such as Kew and Edinburgh now mulch
around trees and dont mow under the canopy of the tree. Even mulch
can introduce diseases if coming from an area where tree disease
is present. The trees essentially mulch themselves with dead leaves
every autumn. And as it seems it is park management practice to
blow leaves off of grass areas into woodland then leaf mulching will be
tree species exude a toxin around their roots to suppress competing
plants i.e. oak. This can be seen at the gorse patch where one oak has
suppressed all the gorse around it and stands almost in a clearing.
Some plants around trees such as grasses, mosses etc. act as a
mulch keeping moisture in the soil by shading the ground at low level
and gathering dew.
The natural order of things can manage the environment better than any human methodology but we can't stop interfering.
end of news item
During the mid 90's the
Beckenham Place Park Working Party was formed and one of the early
achievements was the drawing up of a Management Plan for the
environmental features of the Park.
Woodland management was among the
significant subjects addressed. Certain areas were identified as being
suitable for woodland management on a progressive basis. Invasive
species were identified for control and possible eradication i.e.
Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed, Sycamore and Holly.
As well as
other groups the Friends have small working parties to thin Holly and
coppice some sycamore as well as pull up Balsam before it sets seed in
summer. Other work includes bramble control and removal of Rhododendron.
Groups such as BTCV and Lewisham Nature's
Gym perform sycamore
coppicing which opens up woodland canopy and permits other species to
green waste composting scheme which had been established in the park is
now discontinued as, sensibly, the disruption and damage caused by the
site drew many complaints from park users.
area has been planted with tree saplings while part of it remains
used as an area for material from within the park. The
amount of waste previously brought in from all over the Borough of
Lewisham was far too much for the area to accommodate and the
heavy plant machinery used to process the material damaged paths and
created quagmires in wet weather.