Combe and the environment
At the heart of the estate sits Gittisham Hill which is a 250 acre Devon Pebblebed heath. This area is subject to an Environmental Stewardship Agreement the objective of which is to enhance the bio-diversity of the site. Through a programme of mechanical scrub clearance, burning and grazing by our herd of Ruby Red Devon Cattle the site has been improved greatly over the past fifteen years.
There has been a huge increase in the variety of flora and fauna present on the site as a direct result of the management plan in place. The work is carried out by estate staff and a proportion of the funding comes via the Higher Level Stewardship Agreement administered by Natural England.
Conservation and Management
The commercial forestry is also managed on a fully sustainable basis with replanting occurring the season after clear felling on a planned rotational basis.
Additional planting has taken place over recent years to further increase the area of woodland as well as the creation and restoration of soft fruit orchards though the Countryside Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship Schemes.
The woodlands are managed in accordance with a management plan which looks at short, medium and long term objectives for the woodlands and combines the need for profitable rotations of the commercial woodland with the conservation, amenity and sporting objectives of the woodland enterprise as a whole.