Heathland restoration at Dunces Arch, near to Rushpole Wood


Towards the end of September, work will start on the next phase of heathland restoration in a small part of Dunces Arch, near to Rushpole Wood (see map, areas being worked marked in yellow).

Forestry England’s contractors will be removing conifer tree stumps and raking up and burning the debris in areas where the conifer trees were felled in 2021/22. We’re very aware how important it is to protect our rare heathlands and the soil underneath. Our work is focused only on burning the debris and this is done carefully to avoid the heat going down into the soil.

This is an important part of the journey of restoring this area back to open habitat, as part of approved works within the Verderers’ Higher Level Stewardship agri-environment agreement. Once the ridges are removed the aim of this restoration work is to prevent the area having dry tops of the ridges with bracken and scrub developing on them and wet furrows, which don’t allow water to reconnect with the flood plain and sit too wet for the ground-nesting birds, and other heathland specialist species. The overall aim is to restore a former area of species-rich heathland, rare habitat for which the New Forest SSSI, SAC, SPA and RAMSAR is designated, and recognised as an internationally important site for nature conservation.

There will be warning signs in the areas where contractors are working and we urge people to pay attention to safety signs to avoid injury to themselves and their dog, as there may be hot ashes in some areas.