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Nether Cerne Woodland thinning and firewood project

EuCAN has undertaken a major new project in the woodland at Nether Cerne (where we have previously worked for Butterfly Conservation to enhance the habitat for the Duke of Burgundy butterfly). We are contracted to drastically thin out the ash, sycamore, beech and Lawson’s Cypress in this plantation which was originally established on pristine chalk downland in the 1960’s, and to use the resulting seasoned timber for our firewood enterprise.

Day one - a dark and inhospitable woodland habitat!

Day one – a dark and inhospitable woodland habitat!

We hope that as we let the light in, the woodland will become much more hospitable to wildlife – and we also hope we can make some money for the company out of the sale of logs next year. There will be at least 150 cubic metres of cordwood in the stacks once we have finished. Quite a challenge!

We have been working on this since September, felling the trees and cutting the brash, and on Thursday 2nd were reinforced not only by our Cerne Valley Community Conservation group but also by a team of 17 helicopter pilots and engineers from Yeovilton Airbase – a total of 40 volunteers, perhaps the largest group we have ever had!

The group at lunch-2


A Slope

We created stacks of cordwood at the foot of the slopes, heaped up the deciduous brash as habitat piles and burned the cypress waste. Many thanks to everyone for a great day’s work!


Further entertaining photos of the following week’s work and mobile soup kitchen can be found here.

Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in this project – email: