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Planting – Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate Part 1

Find out more about the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate and how the Greenfields team are helping rejuvenate the woodland landscape.

The Stanford Hall Estate has changed greatly over the past 12 years. Initially with the development and opening of the MoD rehabilitation centre (DNRC), and continuing with the current building of the NRC (National Rehabilitation Centre) facility, due to open 2025.

As well as these significant rehab establishments the estate itself has been developed as a rehab asset in it’s own right. It now offers outdoor facilities such as a 1km and 5km trim trail, a 2.5km hand cycle rack, a 6-hole pitch and putt course, and a lake which has been improved to allow fishing. Over the last decade it has been returned to its parkland state allowing patients and staff right to roam across the estate.

As part of this regeneration an extensive woodland management programme has been put in place on the estate with the ultimate aim of transforming the woodland from a monoculture woodland to one which is diverse in native tree species of trees. During this management programme it was found that much of the original woodland was made up of ash trees which were suffering from ash dieback and needed to be removed for Health and Safety reasons.

It is hoped that with time and careful management the woodland can be curated into an area that can be utilised for many decades. Planting has included species such as willow and hazel which can be coppiced and used to make products such as baskets and fencing hurdles. It is also hoped the estate can produce its own charcoal which can be used for burning and drawing.

More to come on the planting work carried out by the Greenfields team (with a little help from Millside Spencer Academy!) in Part 2.

For more information on the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre or the NHS National Rehabilitation Centre click on the links below.

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