Volunteering

Common Wood is managed entirely by volunteers

Working within a strategic management plan

The current woodland management plan was produced with help from the Chiltern Woodlands Project. It was approved by the Forestry Commission in 2012 and runs to April 2022. This plan and woodland grant contract has given felling approval to thin out young plantations and poorer trees. The wood is a varied mosaic of tree ages and structure and has some of the best young regeneration of beech in the Chilterns. A felling licence to thin out the marked larch Gravelly Way plantation aims to leave rows of beech and other broadleaved trees, whilst harvesting the timber of the mature larch. A future threat to ash trees, mainly found on the chalk hillside, is Ash Dieback a fungal disease also known as Chalara. It kills the leaves of the ash in late summer and then spreads into the rest of the tree. Rhododendron clearance is also to reduce the risk of Phytophthora ramorum spreading from the Rhododendron host to kill other trees. Another threat to young broadleaved trees is bark damage by grey squirrels in summer. .

The wood should provide safe amenity and interest for local people by allowing quiet, informal public access to the extent consistent with that overriding conservation purpose. This conforms to the charitable aims of PTGRS. It also observes the terms we have agreed with the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Woodland Trus - and it fulfils the promises made to all those residents and others who donated to the Save Common Wood campaign.

The importance of volunteers

The Residents Society is a wholly voluntary organisation and relies on assistance from local residents to carry out work in the wood so that it is a safe environment for visitors and to realise our strategic visions.

We would be delighted to hear from anyone that would like to volunteer to help with such tasks. Please get in touch using on the icons below

Examples of recent work includes:

  • Removal of holly, laurel and rhododendron understorey where it is having an impact on ground flora
  • Creation and maintenance of a network of grassy rides
  • Maintenance of existing paths and open glades
  • Cutting back unwanted conifer regeneration where it occurs while it is still small and easy to control.
  • Improve permissive path surfaces in places where these are heavily used and becoming muddy (see map)