Brampton Ash, Hardwick & Sywell and West Wood Forest Plan

Brampton Ash, Hardwick & Sywell and West Wood Forest Plan


The Forest Plan comprises three blocks of woodland known as Brampton Ash, Hardwick & Sywell and West Wood. They are situated to the North and East of Northampton in Northamptonshire. The 320 hectares covered by the plan is a mixture of freehold and leasehold; managed by the Forestry Commission.

The woodlands are mostly broadleaf and Ancient Woodland (ASNW) or Planted Ancient Woodland (PAWS). It also contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This area has its own specific management plan which will be addressed in the full Forest Plan. West wood is the only wood with open public access. In addition there are a number of historic ground features and earthworks.


The main objectives for the Forest Plan are:


  • Demonstrate a structured and sustainable programme of timber harvesting to include infrastructure requirements (roads and main drains).
  • Select suitable species and appropriate silvicultural techniques to regenerate (either naturally or through planting) commercially productive but more structurally and species diverse and resilient crops. 


  • Demonstrate appropriate management of statutory designated sites and maintain the ecological value of the non-designated priority habitats.
  • Make appropriate provision within the Forest Plan for the particular requirements of the SSSI as detailed in the Management Plan.
  • Identify existing locations of Trees of Special Interest and demonstrate appropriate management to both maintain the current resource and to recruit future veteran replacements.
  • Identify appropriate areas to increase deadwood habitat and propose management to maintain a sustainable resource.
  • Identify key species and sites and make appropriate provision for their requirements.


  • Diversify species composition and structure, and plan sympathetically designed and appropriately scaled interventions to improve and maintain the visual integration of the forest into the wider landscape.
  • Recognise the location and scale of demand in making appropriate provision for public access, where there is open access woodland or public rights of way.

What we’ll do

Planned operations within the 10 year period of the plan are summarised below:

  • Thinning of 458ha of broadleaves.
  • Ride widening of 21ha of broadleaves.

The species composition will change from 81% broadleaves, 12% unplantable, 1%felled and 6% open in 2017 to 88% broadleaves and 12% open in 2067.

All of our forests and woodlands in this Forest District are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). All Forestry England forests and woods are independently certified as sustainably managed, to continue to benefit future generations.

FSC logo and PEFC logo in green