Work is continuing to be carried out by Three Rivers District Council to encourage the regeneration of rare heathland habitat near Rickmansworth.

The work will restore the valuable habitats of Bishop’s Wood, which is planned in an area of previously cleared pine woodland.

It was planted in the 1960s on former open wood pasture.

Work will involve collecting fallen timber and birch scrub and burning it on-site, which will be done in order to avoid incorporating the material into the soil and adding fertility. No larger trees will be felled.

The area will then be mulched, removing stumps and turning over the soil for the regeneration of heathland plants such as heather from the seed bank.

Ten small scrapes will also be established by the council, where topsoil is removed to further aid regeneration.

The contract will be managed by the Countryside Management Service in partnership with the council. The work area will be temporarily closed from September 23 for two weeks, affecting some minor paths.

But the main surfaced route around Bishop’s Wood will remain open at all times.

Cllr Phil Williams, lead member for environmental services and sustainability, said: “This project started in 2014. It has already brought £250k of funding to Bishop’s Wood including a substantial grant from the Forestry Commission.

“The work undertaken in the woodland has restored the ancient woodland and improved access for visitors.

“The main path has been resurfaced, the car park improved and new interpretation panels help visitors find their way around the wood and learn more about its history and its wildlife.”

Last winter Bishop’s Wood also saw the start of a natural flood management trial, with 20 leaky woody dams constructed along the streams in the wood by volunteers.

These are intended to slow the flow of water through the wood and increase the amount of water that soaks into the woodland floor, reducing the risk of that water reaching Rickmansworth and causing flooding.