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Elm Cottage Green Lane Local Wildlife Site

Elm Cottage Green Lane Local Wildlife Site


Length:  55m

Designation:  Local Wildlife Site Ep212

Ownership:  Private

Location:  Berners Roding

Grid reference:  TL 59543 09016 (W) to TL 60500 08941 (E) {phocamaps view=link|id=31|text=Map}

Description:  Elm Cottage Green Lane is a byway open to all traffic approximately 1km long.  It runs west-east from Elm Cottage and it connects two minor roads.

A small, linear woody area running north-south halfway along the lane to its north forms a peninsula.  This is part of an old parish boundary but is not included as part of the Local Wildlife Site.  The landscape is arable with many tracks and footpaths along or across fields.  A national trail (The Essex Way) is nearby.  There are scattered, fragmented, small woody areas in the local area.  The lane provides an important corridor for wildlife, running between two arable fields and connecting other hedgerows in the area.  Elm Cottage Lane contains approximately 30 veteran trees, of which 25 are pollards.  These make good habitat for bats and invertebrates due to the hollows and holes and decay stages of the dead wood.  Some sections of the hedge comprise six species in 30m, some sections have eight, which dates the hedges to between six and eight hundred years old according to Hooper’s Rule.  Ancient woodland indicators exist on the lane.

NI197:  as part of the District Council’s commitment to NI197 (Biodiversity of Local Wildlife Sites) Countrycare worked with the landowners to draw up a management statement and undertake some practical improvement works with contractors and volunteers.

Management Objectives:  

  • Maintain structural diversity of the hedgerows along the lane and plant up some gaps to maintain connectivity
  • Open up light to the lane. The ground flora is diverse and could be attracting a diverse assemblage of invertebrates.  It needs to be encouraged towards the eastern end of the lane where there is less light
  • Maintain the veteran trees along the lane that are providing habitat for bats and invertebrates.  They should remain in situ and managed as appropriate

Key tasks: 

  • Plant up gaps in hedgerow to maintain connectivity of hedgerow trees along the length of the lane.  Hedge at western end to be allowed to mature
  • Selectively coppice hedgerow scrub annually
  • Reduce the crowns of some of the veteran trees for their longevity and to help more light reach the floor of the lane


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