Planting trees

The main building of Drala Jong is surrounded by rolling open countryside, rivers, farmland and woodlands. Drala Jong’s lands contain open meadows, some ponds and woodlands, which all require some husbandry.

Some of the woods are part of an ancient forest, it is planned that the conifer plantations that replaced much of the ancient woodland will be thoughtfully restored with native species, The changes to be made will be natural changes that are for the benefit of the trees and wildlife. This does not mean the work will be easy or speedy — but it means that changes will create a beautiful, diverse and sustainable eco system. Stream beds will be dug to allow the water to run down hill without soil erosion and flooding turning the hillside into a mudslide. There will be pools throughout the course of the stream to keep the trees and shrubs irrigated and encourage a greater diverisity of plants and wildlife. Paths need to be made and undergrowth thinned to allow natural regeneration to occur, hopefully from  seeds left by the ancient woodland.

Our Plans

A large amount of trees will be planted. In fact there will be three tree planting projects at Drala Jong requiring the planting of hundreds of trees.

  1. The creation of Silvopasture to increase biodiversity, productivity through stock grazing and wood products whilst decreasing soil erosion and water run off.
  2. The creation of two hedges. One to create a forest edge to the plantings of a previous occupier. This will have the same benefits as the silvopasture project and encourage more wildlife into the woodland.
    The larger field dividing hedge will have similar benefits whilst creating both a windbreak and wildlife corridor, whilst dividing the two fields.
  3. The third project is reclaiming the Ancient Woodland. Currently only about a third of the forest is composed of natural broadleaf woodland. Ash dieback disease and Larch phytophspora are prevalent creating a need for different replacement species.
    We will also be slowly felling the non-native conifers over the next 20 years or so. Whilst some natural regeneration will occur. Replacement trees will be needed.

What has happened so far

In spite of the Covid19 pandemic we have started already to work on planting the field dividing hedge, aided by some generous donations and a grant from the Woodland Trust for which we are extremely grateful.

Plans habe been drawn up for the Silvopasture project and we hope to start planting towards the end of this year. Further plans are also afoot to create a larger vegetable garden to feed retreatants and visitors home grown produce.

The reclamation of the ancient woodland is ongoing and will continue to be so over this decade. Since owning Drala Jong there are signs of red Deer and Badgers returning. This Spring there has been a delightful profusion of Snowdrops and bluebells are springing up in spaces vacated by conifer and bramble.

Donate to Drala Jong

Please act today, and donate a lump sum or establish a standing order for a monthly contribution. No matter how small or big – we are utterly grateful for every donation.

How to Help