Clearing the woodland walk

Chopping and chipping - find out how we're keeping your walk through the woods an autumnal delight

We're cutting down trees by the hundred – yes you read that correctly!

Last week we purposely felled hundreds of trees in the RHS Garden Hyde Hall woodland walk in order to make the network of pathways running through it more appealing and accessible. It sounds harsh, and considering the lengths we are going to in recreating a native woodland on the wider estate, it is rather drastic.

Tree cutting in the woodland walkHowever, like everything horticultural, even trees cannot be planted and forgotten about. In fact, it's a measure of the woodland's success that we needed to fell the trees in order to stop them from devouring the pathways altogether.

Although only 15 years old, the canopy had developed to an extent that the pathway had become less of a leafy stroll through dappled sunlight and more of single file trudge in the shade - hence the need for chainsaws, wood chippers and the occasional yells of ‘timber’ echoing through the gardens.

All of the felled trees were shredded there and then with the resulting wood chippings spread throughout the remaining trees, while the larger logs were stacked into piles to provide essential wildlife havens.

Autumn leaf colourNow that the dust has settled, the widened pathways provide a sunny and pleasant stroll for visitors who fancy a walk on the wild side.

The woodlands at this time of year are a great place for a family day out, especially on a sunny day when the autumn colours are at their best.

Sedums and grassesElsewhere in the garden the autumnal sunshine is bringing out the best in the Queen Mother's Garden, and on Clover Hill where you will find large swathes of late summer-flowering perennials, including glorious sedums and grasses.

Here, a mixture of late flowering perennials, ornamental grasses and colourful shrubs planted en masse, all set within large meandering island beds, makes this a tranquil spot to enjoy from a well-positioned bench – it’s just a good job that we have finished with chainsaws.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.