Field layer and establishment methods

Considering the field layer and its establishment, special focus should be directed to the outer edge zones. Establishment methods often comprise a direct seeding as a base, complemented with aplantation of smaller groups and individuals.

Basic management principles

An estimation of what will happen in the long run can be seen in shrubs growing in the countryside. Over a long period it seems that tree species experience difficulties in entering shrub-dominated communities but, in the long run, they do. Even if the trees do not invade the shrub area, it will break down. Especially for Rosaceae species like Prunus spinosa, this will happen within a maximum period of a 100 years. Coppicing is important as part of the management principles for shrubs. It might help to keep them young, but not to keep them ‘forever young’. Other important principles explaining their possible diversity and long-term sustainability are grazing and mowing regimes.

Half-open land and small-scale mosaics

Basic characteristics

Plantations and open rooms should form interactive systems., creating informal or more formal patterns, in a logical relationship to land form, soil fertility and hydrology. The choice of principles for tree and shrub plantings should shift from larger and smaller group plantings to individual planting in the open rooms. There should also be a shift from very dense plantings, following the plants’ natural sociability strategies, to plantings based on large distances in-between the individuals, giving each other support by their relative closeness but still standing far enough away from each other that they will be ‘open grown’ in character.