People use deciduous woodlands as a source of timber, for recreation and conserving wildlife. Woodland managers have to maintain a balance between conservation and human activity.
Uses of deciduous woodland
Humans use woodlands in a variety of ways:
- as a resource – wood is used for fuel (firewood) or as timber for buildings
- for recreation – for example for deer hunting or walks
- for conservation
Case study: Epping Forest
Epping Forest is an example of a deciduous forest. It is located in north-east London.
The forest is used by visitors and looked after to help maintain the wildlife and its historic landscape.
Recreational activities here include:
- fishing in the larger ponds and lakes
There are also 60 football pitches and an 18-hole golf course in Epping Forest.
The management of temperate deciduous woodland – Epping forest
A pollarded tree
The City of London Corporation has overall responsibility to manage the forest, which is a site of special scientific interest which protects the trees by law. The management has to balance conserving the land with keeping it open to the public. This is difficult to do.
Traditional management techniques includepollarding. This technique encourages new growth, and maintains the trees for future generations. It is a form of sustainable management in the woodland. Pollarding also encourages birds to nest.
Dead wood is left to rot. Rotten wood is food for fungi and encourages wildlife. Some grassy areas are left uncut to encourage wildlife like butterflies.
The recreational areas for biking and horse riding are marked out. This reduces damage to other areas of the forest.