Tarecroft Wood is home to an acre of mature elm trees
A project to ensure the survival of an important ancient woodland is to get underway this winter.
Tarecroft Wood near Silver End is home to a variety of hazel, ash and lime trees, as well as an acre of elms.
After decades of neglect, a management project led by the Essex Woodland Partnership hopes to halt its decline.
"These woods have been here for 1500 years and unless we draw a line in the sand now they won't be here in another 50 years," said EWP's Patrick McKenna.
"Unfortunately Tarecroft Woods, like so many of our ancient semi-natural woodlands here in Essex, has fallen a little bit derelict," he added.
"There's been no coppicing or management here on the site probably since the Second World War.
"So much of the area now is past its rotation length and there's been a decline in the diversity of the species in the woodland."
In conjunction with Essex County Council, the Essex Woodland Partnership has put in place a management plan for a five-year and a 20-year management programme.
"The five-year programme will be split in two groups," said Patrick.
"The 'heavy' work will be done by contractors with their machinery.
"But the lighter stuff and smaller areas of work such as the hazel coppice and the small ash will hopefully be with volunteers, the local community and school groups.
"Anybody who want to make a difference to the woods in Essex can start here in Tarecroft Wood at any one of the three working days we'll have this winter."
For more information or if you want to volunteer for the work days, contact Patrick at