Case study: Woodland Management Plans

Timber measuring

The Forestry Com­mis­sion offer a Wood­land Plan­ning Grant is a which is for £1,000 for wood­lands from 3 to 50 hectares in size.  Many of our clients have a strong inter­est in nature con­ser­va­tion, but that does not mean that your wood­land can not also be a pro­duc­tive resource.  The for­mat of a wood­land man­age­ment plan will give you an assess­ment of the resource,  and sets clear objec­tives for the future.  The plan will also have detailed pro­pos­als for the fol­low­ing five years, and map out oper­a­tions for the longer term up to twenty years ahead, and is often the basis for mov­ing on to fur­ther grant schemes.

Knowle Farm in north Corn­wall recently com­mis­sioned us to write a Wood­land Man­age­ment Plan.  The farm cov­ers 70 acres, of which about 50 are wood­land, much higher than nor­mally found.  The woods are a mix­ture of pro­duc­tive conifers, well man­aged, and some young broadleaved plant­ing which is excel­lent for wildlife, but in need of main­te­nance.  Also impor­tant to the farm is a sev­eral cot­tages let as hol­i­day accommodation.

Our plan has there­fore taken into account amenity and nature con­ser­va­tion, but will enable the wood­lands to con­tinue to pro­duce good qual­ity tim­ber into local mar­kets.  We hope to con­tinue to work with the own­ers in the long term, but are con­fi­dent that they will grad­u­ally take on more of the future man­age­ment as they become famil­iar with their new estate.

Else­where, we have also writ­ten a man­age­ment plan for a series of small woods on a farm cov­ered b a river cor­ri­dor SSSI, where the owner was anx­ious to actively man­age the site for fire­wood and wood­chip.  On a more com­mer­cial site, we have also pre­pared a plan for a client with a rather uni­form upland plan­ta­tion of Sitka Spruce, which led to a grant offer of over £20,000 for track improve­ment works.

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