At Moor Barton Wilding we have inherited three plantations of conifer woodland: sitka spruce, western hemlock and Douglas fir.
Though generally ecologically poor, large conifer trees serve as nesting sites for raptors and western hemlock is home to our resident nesting goshawks. The buds, seeds and cones produced by the conifers are an important food source for certain birds such as siskin, coal tits and goldfinches. In addition, these dense and dark trees provide important shelter from cold temperatures and wind for deer and other mammals - including humans! The sitka spruce lying to the north east of our main camp area provides a windbreak from the predominant westerly winds for camps and courses taking place at Moor Barton Wilding.
While the spruce at Moor Barton Wilding has limited ecological and economic value, each of the three conifer areas play a part in providing sustainable timber. Recently we have been thinning the sitka spruce in order to grow some on as local, sustainably produced firewood. Douglas fir, in particular, is a very useful, high value and durable timber. As we only have a very small and relatively inaccessible copse, we use this ourselves for small building projects onsite.