North Lincolnshire Council has recently started a winter season of works to improve wildlife habitats at Phoenix Parkway Local Nature Reserve in Scunthorpe. This woodland site is also known as Foxhills Plantation.
The main work involves felling about 1.6 hectares of dominated woodland, to create a more varied woodland structure.
The clear area will largely be replanted with oak trees, silver birch and mixed native shrubs that are more typical of natural woodlands on the wind-blown coversands soils around Scunthorpe.
In restricted areas, open spaces will be left, to create sunny woodland glades and rides, useful for birds and butterflies. Bat boxes and bird boxes will be installed in unaffected trees.
While the new trees are still small, it is hoped that the open sandy areas will be taken over by acid grassland flowers such as wood sage, sand sedge, common Stork’s-bill, Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill, sheep’s sorrel, parsley piert and bird’s-foot.
This week, volunteers have been mowing grassy areas and clearing scrub and bracken, to attract these wildflowers, and the moths and butterflies that rely on them.
All of the works have been carefully planned and timed to avoid any impact on nesting birds, roosting bats and other sensitive species.