Trees and plants
The planting of 300,000 native broadleaved trees took place over three years between October 2012 and March 2015, both by contractors and with the help of the local community and schools.
The species planted include oak, field maple, silver birch, beech and hornbeam, but no ash due to ash die back. However, there is some natural ash regeneration in parts of the site. Where there are remnants of the open-cast mining infrastructure, these areas have been cleared and planted with silver birch and common alder.
Two areas of woodland existed prior to our purchase of the site. The first, adjacent to School Lane, is a small plantation of mixed broadleaves planted approximately 20 years ago. The other, larger block at 6.47 hectares is Normanton Wood at the northern end of the site which is predominantly ancient woodland containing a variety of native broadleaf species, including oak, ash, birch, rowan and elder.
In Normanton Wood, plant species indicative of ancient woodland includes bluebell, wood anemone, wood sorrel, dog’s mercury and yellow archangel. The newly-planted woodland is less diverse but includes common species such as woundwort and umbellifers such as cow parsley. The lake has some marginal vegetation, including bull rush and yellow iris.
It is hoped that plants, insects, mammals and birds will move out from these refuges to colonise the newly planted areas.