Draft Management Plan 2003-2007

Woodland Compartments
Woodland Compartments

Lochend Wood, Dunbar, East Lothian


Lochend Wood comprises former estate woodland, once part of Lochend Estate, Dunbar. It now lies within an extensive new development of housing. As part of planning conditions, the wood has been (is in the process of being) transferred by the owner to the Dunbar Community Development Co. to be managed as community woodland by a local community based management group, Dunbar Community Woodland Group (DCWG). This plan has been prepared by DCWG. It is based partly on an earlier plan, prepared by David Wilson Associates of Glasgow, required as part of the original planning consent, and partly from recent site surveys carried out by DCWG and incorporating the results of community involvement. The plan describes the woodland, sets out the long-term aims and objectives for it and management operations are prescribed for the period 2003-2007.


2.1 History

Lochend Wood covers some 33 ha (80 acres) of generally flat or undulating land lying to the south of the town of Dunbar. It was originally part of the extensive lands and Barony of Lochend, and was the home of Sir Gideon Baillie in the early 17th Century. The Baillies held the estate until 1664 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sinclair of Longformacus. In 1708 the Lochend Estate was sold to George Warrender, merchant of Edinburgh, who became the first Warrender baronet in 1715. The Warrenders held the family seat until 1947 when Sir Victor Warrender sold the farms of Eweford and Hallhill with Lochend Wood to a local farmer. In 1997 planning permission was granted to Ross Developments Ltd to build houses and construct a hotel and golf course on the farmland around the woods. This included constructing an access road cutting through the woods and splitting them in two.

2.2 Woodland

The woodland was originally planted in the late 18th Century, but the present trees mainly date from the period immediately following the Second World War. The outline of the woodland follows the original boundary as shown on maps dating back to 1832.

The land lies between 10 and 20 metres above sea level, averaging 15 metres. The soils are silty or sandy loam, freely drained in places and fairly wet or waterlogged in others. The wood is generally well stocked, although unthinned. Open areas include waterlogged places and a small pond retained by a dam.

Species composition varies (see map and sub component description). Sycamore is the most predominant species, usually planted in mixtures with ash, beech, elm, larch or pine. There are also stands of pine and spruce. Despite the lack of thinning, growth has been good with a high proportion of well-formed stems of ash, sycamore, pine, larch, spruce and beech. Self-thinning and Dutch elm disease resulted in a proportion of dead trees which posed a danger to the public who have access to the woods until most were removed by the developer before the title of the woods was transferred. Some of the conifers, particularly the spruce, have started to blow over.

The dense canopy means that understorey or ground vegetation is patchy, being sparse in many places. The commonest understorey is elderberry and the ground vegetation comfrey, nettles, ferns etc.

There are also the remains of an old garden with large specimen trees including cedar, yew, walnut and grand fir. There is also a small stand of yew trees.

2.3 Conservation Interest

The woodland generally possesses a relatively low conservation interest. However, the wetter, more open areas with dead trees and fallen wood have a higher value. Casual observation shows that roe deer inhabit the wood, bird life is varied, including use by barn owls.

A survey carried out by the Scottish Wildlife Trust calculated National Vegetation Classification (NVC) woodland types for parts of the area. This was difficult due to the alteration of the site conditions following 50 years of planted trees. The main NVC types are as follows:

Compartments 1,2,3 and 4 would be W8e, Fraxinus excelsior – Acer campestre – Mercuralis perennis, Geranium robertianum sub-type (ash – field maple – dog’s mercury, herb Robert sub-type)

Compartments 5,6 and 7 would be Alnus glutinosa – Urta Dioica (alder – stinging nettle).

The other compartments would probably be the ash-field maple type unless they are wet.

There are some old ruined buildings on the site. One of these is the remains of part of Lochend House, a listed building in poor condition, the other served as a laundry for the estate. Estate walls partly surround the woods.

2.4 Public Access and Recreation

The wood has been used informally for walking for many years and contains a network of paths developed ad hoc. The recent housing estate construction has resulted in increased use and the development of extra access points. Children play in the area and, as part of the original planning condition, a play area is being developed. The public access has also led to rubbish dumping, though not on a large scale, and various constructions by children, such as tree houses, dens etc. The management plan proposed by David Wilson Associates included the construction of a network of primary paths with surfacing suitable for walking, cycling, wheelchairs and buggies. This network was constructed by the developer as part of the planning conditions, following work by DCWG to map the existing paths in more detail. The wood is also located close to the new Dunbar Healthy Living Centre and there is the potential to develop recreation and access that provides health benefits to the residents of Dunbar.

2.5 Community Involvement

Community involvement at Lochend Wood comprises 3 different, complementary strands.

a) Community based management. Dunbar Community Woodland Group (DCWG) arose from a public, open meeting sponsored by East Lothian Council. (ELC) From this a group was constituted including a management committee and general membership of some 200 members (including individuals and households – Jonathan to confirm). This group, in liaison with ELC has carried out survey work and has developed this plan. The group runs a website, prepares newsletters and promotes its presence in a number of ways. It holds monthly meetings

b) Consultation with the local population. DCWG has carried out questionnaire surveys of Dunbar people in order to ascertain the views of the wider population than the DCWG membership. The results of the questionnaire have helped to formulate the management objectives and plans. A community forest participatory appraisal was also carried out with support from Reforesting Scotland and the results from this have also been used to inform the plan (see copy of the participatory appraisal appended to the plan).

c) Woodland activities. DCWG has undertaken various activities such as litter picking days, woodland walks and slide show and is organising and planning further activities so that local people can take an active part in woodland based activities such as litter collection and tree planting. Most of these activities will take place once the plan has been agreed and approved.


Lochend Wood has been (is being) handed over to the Dunbar Community Development Co. (DCDC) by the owner to become a community woodland. The objectives of management therefore derive from this over-arching purpose and function as follows:-

a) Recreation. To develop safe and attractive access for the widest number of people. This includes walking, cycling, horse riding and children’s play. Access will be designed for use by older people and people with disabilities. The woodland will be managed and maintained to present a welcoming and safe atmosphere. Activities that promote health and well-being will be promoted. Information will be provided.

b) Landscape. To increase the visual diversity of the internal woodland landscape. The amount of open space will be increased, stands of trees opened up and the understorey and ground layers of vegetation will be encouraged. Any facilities, such a play structures, benched and signs, will be designed to reflect the woodland character.

c) Conservation. To increase the biodiversity value of the woodland. Open space, wet areas and edges will be enhanced and a wider variety of native woodland vegetation encouraged. Dead wood will be retained and some areas left relatively undisturbed by access.

d) Education. To develop an environmental education programme for both primary and secondary schools in Dunbar. Sites and facilities will be developed for school classes to learn about different aspects of natural history related to the different habitats and other features found in the wood.

e) Woodland Management. To produce a healthy and thriving woodland with the potential to contribute to revenue by the production of timber as a by-product of woodland activities. Any remaining dead and unsafe trees will be removed. Dense stands will be opened up by thinning. Natural regeneration will be encouraged and enrichment planting of some areas will take place. Spruce stands will be removed because they are not suited to the site and climate. A greater proportion of native species, especially oak, will be encouraged over time.


There are a number of constraints and opportunities to carrying out activities.

4.1 Constraints

a) The proximity of houses, gardens and fences close to the woodland edge constrains management activities.

b) The new access road cutting through the woodland has opened up edges to wind damage.

c) Culverted drains running across the woodland need to be protected from machinery during site operations.

d) Wet areas are at risk from machinery damage.

e) The old pond with dam is dangerous and awkward to work around.

4.2 Opportunities

a) The wood is accessible for woodland operations from the new road and the old estate road running through it.

b) The ground is firm and generally flat so that machinery can reach most areas easily and the risk of site damage is low.

c) Sale of timber could raise revenue whilst improving the woodland structure.

d) Volunteers from the community can help to carry out some work.

e) Wood from felled trees can be used to construct benches etc.

f) The dry soil and absence of drainage problems means that paths are easier to construct.


The developer was obliged, under the terms of the planning consent and according to the original management plan to carry out the following tasks: –

a) To fell and remove all dead and dangerous trees. The timber may be left on site and used by DCWG or left as dead wood habitat. The dead and dangerous trees were marked by DCWG in September 2001 and mostly removed by contractors through 2001/2002, although some yet remain..

b) To install a primary path network through the wood as marked on plans supplied as part of the original management plan. This has been carried out and a secondary path network also constructed, mainly following routes that had developed as hoc.

c) To clear an area of trees and undergrowth to provide a children’s play area. This area is different from that defined in the original management plan due to site conditions. The new site was identified by DCWG and agreed by developer and planning authority in September 2001. The trees have been felled but much material remains on site so it cannot be developed any further.

At the time of transfer of title, several outstanding jobs, which were part of the original planning permission, remain to be completed. Funds given to the DCDC as part of the title transfer deal will be used to complete these outstanding works.


Resources available include:

a) Money from the developer as part of the title transfer deal

b) Volunteer labour from DWCG and other groups

c) Materials sourced on site

d) Forestry Commission grants

e) Revenues generated from sales of timber


The management prescriptions relate to the different management objectives.

7.1 Recreation

a) A primary path network will be constructed suitable for all areas. The section following the old estate road will double as vehicular access for management purposes. (Completed by the developer in 2002)

b) A secondary path network will be constructed based partly on existing routes and desire lines and partly on a new design to provide a series of loop walks. All paths will be surfaced as necessary to enable everyone to use them. Benches will be supplied at frequent intervals, constructed from timber cut on site. The path network has been almost completed by the developer but benches are needed and some bridges need to be upgraded.

c) A play area will be cleared of surplus trees and undergrowth and sown with grass. Benches and simple play equipment will be constructed from timber cut on site, especially from pine, spruce, fir and larch. While the initial removal of trees has been completed by the developer, all the rest of the work still needs to be carried out.

d) Some sections of boardwalk, to enable access to the wet area, and small bridges (upgrades to what the developer provided), to cross the burn, will be constructed from timber cut on site.

e) Paths and trim-trail structures to promote health and well- being will be installed, constructed to suitable specifications from timber cut on site.

NB All structures and paths will meet the health and safety standards required by East Lothian Council.

f) Information will be provided through the installation of simple notice boards.

7.2 Landscape

a)The wood will be opened up by removal of the spruce areas and by selective

thinning of other stands.

b)Areas that become open but are not needed for permanent open spaces will

be planted with trees and shrubs to diversify structure and create diversity.

7.3 Conservation

a) The wet, open area in Cpt 3a will be developed to become a wetland habitat by creating scrapes and by removing some of the regeneration in order to ensure it retains an open character.

b) The pond, dam and associated areas in Cpt 7 will be cleared of debris and dead spruce and develop as a natural habitat with public access. This will involve dredging the pond and creating areas of different depths and islands.

c) Yew areas in Cpt 3d will be cleaned and rubbish removed.

7.4 Education

There are no prescriptions in terms of woodland management needed for the preparation of educational materials.

7.5 Woodland Management

a) All dead and dangerous trees have been removed and the remainder will be removed.

b) The woods will be thinned by selectively favouring the removal of greater proportions of sycamore and conifer, where there is a mixture, in order to increase the proportion of species such as ash. Suppressed beech will also be removed. Poorly shaped trees will be removed to favour better-shaped ones.


The DCWG have carried out surveys of the woodland and prepared a simple inventory of the different stands. Following this some woodland management prescriptions have been developed which are presented in the following table.

Woodland Compartments
Woodland Compartments









Syc, NS, SP, Be, Ah

Pine concentrated in patches. There is the odd horse chestnut. A sparse understorey of elderberry, dense in places. Was originally planted with a spruce nurse between the rows which has been removed. This area is not part of the title transfer deal at present




SP, Syc, Wych elm

This area is not part of the title transfer deal at present




SP, Syc

A 50/50 mix of the 2 species, well stocked and dense. Ferns a strong element of ground layer with herbs and some elder

Remove the majority of the sycamore and the poor pine to leave a largely pine stand or more open character to encourage an understorey to develop.




Well grown for the dry climate, with an understorey of elder and ground layer of nettles. Root plates are lifting, suggesting that these trees have a limited lifespan

Fell the spruce but leave some dead wood on the forest floor. Replant with oak, ash and small-leaved lime.




Large sycamore. Plenty of light, nettles in ground layer.

Remove the larch and thin out the sycamore. The larch will be used on site for structures.



Ah, Syc, Be

Small pocket, lots of light

Thin out the smaller trees, especially the beech and sycamore. Enrichment planting along the edge with ash, coppice of the existing ash and trimming the branches of the yew.



Syc, Ah

Wet, boggy area, open woodland with dead or dying, stag headed sycamores. Large amounts of ash regeneration. Some lime, blown over and coppicing.

There will be minimal intervention in this area. Paths will be avoided. Some scrapes will be created to enhance conservation interest. The sycamore will be removed and the Rhododendrons monitored to see if they pose an invasion threat.



Syc, SP

Narrow strip between burn and wall

Remove some sycamore and the weakest pine. Some dead and dangerous trees yet to be removed. A small pond will be created where there is already a wet area. Drain covers are needed.



Syc,SP, NS

Narrow strip along path

Thinning of the pine and spruce. Removal of an old fence.




Yews with other trees such as Sycamores among them. Has been used as a place to construct dens.

Selective trimming of the trees. Removal of trees that interfere with the yews. Removal of the rubbish and signs of the dens.




Extensive area of almost pure sycamore. Some Rhododendron.

Selective thinning of the sycamore to favour the best stems. Wait and see what happens to the understorey once light is admitted. Remove Rhododendron. Leave some logs in piles for conservation value (unusable tops etc)




Old garden, with mix of trees, incl. yew, cedar, walnut, fir, and extensive elder understorey

Stumps to be removed and holes filled up, site to be seeded with grass. More trees to be removed up to Kellie Road. Specimen trees left to be pruned and trimmed. Play area to be developed using local materials.



Syc, Ah, Ok, Be

Area planted in a mix with each sequence repeated in the rows. Beech tends to be suppressed. Comfrey ground layer

Fallen trees to be removed, a light thinning of beech and sycamore to be undertaken. A drain cover is needed.



Syc, NS,

Small area by the path.

Thin out the weaker spruce to create a small open space in the woodland.



NS, Syc

Comfrey and elder ground/understorey

Heavy thinning of the stand and removal of the dead trees not yet removed.



CP, Be, Syc


Thin out the beech and sycamore and leave the pine.



Syc, Ah, Be

Beech acts as understorey. No ground layer. Dry soil.

Remove Rhododendron. Thin and remove weak beech but favour the ash as the final stand species.



Be, Ah, Syc, Lime

Rich herb, ground layer, gets a lot of light. Dead elms

Tidy the remains of felled trees into piles. Thin to remove most of the beech and favour the ash.



Syc, Ah, Be

Elder understorey

Thin to favour retention of the ash and the best sycamore.



SP, Syc

Sycamore are minor component, small in size

Clear out and remove fallen trees from the burn. Thinning to remove sycamore and some pine to let light to the burn.



Syc, Ah, SP

Elder undestorey

Thin, especially removing sycamore and poorly formed examples of the other species.




Area with old pond/dam in it and a mix of dead spruce, growing willow carr, dead elms, sycamore, one or 2 lime and some poplar. Elder understorey. Very tangled vegetation and wet soil

Major project to be developed. Preliminary work involved removal of senescent Norway spruce and other poorly formed trees as well as much of the scrubby understorey.



Syc, Ah, Be, elm

Mainly sycamore, some of very good quality. Many elms dead. Beech in sub-canopy. Contains ruins of estate laundry.

Selective thinning to favour the best quality specimens of ash and sycamore. Removal of most of the beech. Where the ash are better remove more sycamore and vice versa. Planting on the bare areas between the woodland and the road, especially with fruiting trees such as crab apples.



Syc, Be, CP

Small triangle. Much rubbish. Elder understorey

Thinning of beech and some sycamore, retain the best CP and remove the ones with the poorest tops.



Syc, Be, EL, Ah, Bi

Mixed area with some dead elm and also a holm oak and a copper beech. Understorey of elder and gooseberry. Contains the building ruins

Thinning to remove poorly formed larch, beech and some sycamore



Syc, Be, Ah


Thinning to remove poorly formed trees and to favour ash.



Ah, Syc, Be

Planted in the row sequence, beech being suppressed. Tussock grass ground layer. Wetter soil.

Thinning to remove poorly formed trees and to favour ash.

Note: the following initials stand for tree species:

Ok Oak

Be Beech

Syc Sycamore

Ah Ash

Bi Birch

SP Scots pine

CP Corsican pine

SS Sitka spruce

NS Norway spruce

EL European larch

M/C Mixed conifers

M/C/B Mixed conifers/broadleaves