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Steward's Green Lane Local Wildlife Site

Steward's Green Lane Local Wildlife Site

Description

Length: 1000m

Designation:  Local Wildlife Site Ep91       

Ownership: Private

Location: Epping

Grid reference: TL 468 010 to TL 473 018 {phocamaps view=link|id=30|text=Map}

Description: Steward’s Green Lane is an ancient green lane that once formed the main London to Newmarket Road in the middle ages. Today, it is a simple bridleway, linking Stewards Green Road in the south to Coopersale Street to the north east.  Flanked by arable fields the lane provides an important wildlife corridor.  It marks the beginning of the Essex Way, the county’s primary Regional walking route.

It is bounded by old hedges and there is a double hedge and ditch on the eastern edge at the southern end which is sometimes 10m wide.  Scattered in the hedges are mature Oak standards, a few veteran or notable trees and some Ash and Field maple coppice.  In some areas the hedges are over mature with dense scrub of Hawthorn and Blackthorn and very little ground flora.  Other species include Elm, Holly, Wild service and Wild plum.  At the southern end is a thin triangle of mature linear woodland approximately 9m wide to the east of the lane which is an added beneficial habitat.

NI 197:  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 volunteers.  During 2010 and 2011, Countrycare volunteers began clearance on the lane, involving the coppicing of blackthorn, thinning of hawthorn and oaks to open up the lane to sunlight.

Management Objectives:

  • To maintain a clear passage for walkers and rider
  • To maintain and enhance boundary hedgerows and trees
  • To manage hedges to encourage ground flora

Key tasks

  • Cut back hedge at narrow 'pinch point' areas to widen path for easier passage for riders and walkers
  • Clear areas of bramble to encourage ground flora diversity
  • Thin out over-mature blackthorn and hawthorn areas to encourage light onto floor of lane
  • Thin out and halo around maiden oaks in woody area. Cut back some overhanging canopy

 

   
 
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