For hundreds of years sweet chestnut has been traditionally managed in Stansted Forest.
At one time hundreds of thousands of fencing stakes were produced every year and gave employment to numerous coppice workers. The areas to be worked would be cut in the winter when the sap is down. In spring dozens of new shoots appear around the base of the cut stools and grow vigorously sometimes to six or seven feet in the first season. The area would be ready to cut again fourteen to sixteen years later.
Alongside commercial benefits, an attractive patchwork of different ages of coppice builds up to create a pleasing subtly changing landscape. Wildlife benefits as spring flowers such as wood anemone and primrose bloom in profusion on newly cut areas and foxgloves make a show in years two and three. Butterflies and other insects thrive in the newly created glades and birds find nest sites as the re-growth reaches a thicket stage.
Later, when the canopy closes and less light reaches the woodland floor, fungi find the damp conditions more suitable and specialist insects make use of the area.
Stansted Park Estate cuts 8 -10 acres of coppice annually to sustain the ancient coppice system. The installation of a bio-fuel heating system for the mansion and ancillary buildings, using wood chips as a renewable fuel, has kick-started this process. This truly sustainable product can be used split or in the round for many garden applications such as pergolas and fruit frames. For an enclosed stove it makes an excellent source of fuel.
To buy Stansted Forest chestnut products please contact the Head Forester on 023 92 41 2265.
There are many footpaths and bridleways across the Stansted Estate, including the Sussex Border Path. The Estate is managed to balance conservation and access. Click here to find us on Google Maps, and zoom in or out; search for directions
Click here to see an OS map of local footpaths and bridleways O.S ref: SU 761 103
Click here for a map of Permissive Access routes on the Stansted Park estate
The Foundation has entered into Environmental Stewardship to benefit mammals, woodland and farmland birds, invertebrates and to maintain and restore the historic parkland and pastureland.
The permissive access routes link up with open access land and the Monarch's Way, providing a circular walking route. Parts of the Forest are accessible by bridleway.
The Forest is bisected by large open vistas which are major features of the Grade I Historic Park and are managed under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.
Please follow the Countryside Code by shutting gates behind you, taking your litter home and keeping dogs under close control.
Loads of things to see and do, the perfect family day out.
Manor house wedding venue, lanscaped grounds & chapel.
Corporate functions and business away days up to 150.
Commercial and residential properties on the estate to let.
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