Woodland grazing toolbox

Woodland grazing toolbox

4.1 Assessing current habitat condition

For your Woodland Grazing Plan, the condition of each woodland type and broad open ground habitat identified in section 3 should be assessed. The result should be entered in the two 'current condition' columns of section 4a.

To carry out your herbivore impact assessment you will need the Guide to Assessing Herbivore Impact in Woodlands. You will need a separate copy of the field sheet (page 9 of the Guide) for each of the woodland and open ground habitats identified in your habitat map.

To illustrate the Woodland Structure Classes in Table 1 and the Current Herbivore Impact levels in Table 2 of the Guide, we have provided a set of photographs of herbivore impacts.

This method relates to grazing/browsing by large herbivores (cattle, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, horses). If it is not known which grazing species are present on the site field signs can be used. For information on how to distinguish between the effects of different damaging agents (animal, microbial and environmental) on young trees see:

Defining palatability

Within the Guide to Assessing Herbivore Impact in Woodlands there are tables summarising the relative palatability of different field layer and tree species. See also the field layer palatability table for a review of what is known about the palatability of selected field layer species. For more on the relative palatability of trees, see relative palatability and resilience of native tree seedlings and saplings to browsing.