Brandon and Elveden Forest Plan
The Brandon & Elveden Forest plan covers 1,430 hectares of Thetford Forest, in the county of Suffolk. The plan area has 621 ha held as freehold and is open access land.
Brandon & Elveden forest are part of the Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for a range of rare flora and fauna, and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for the Woodlark and Nightjar. Most of Brandon & Elveden is planted with pine which is sustainably managed for timber through a cycle of clearfelling and replanting, providing habitat for these ground nesting birds. Brandon heath also provides habitat for these species.
There are significant areas of broadleaved woodland predominantly located around Brandon Country Park and in tree belts bordering the forest boundary. These provide ideal habitats for bats of which a long term project has been running in the plan area since 1975. Heritage features are found throughout the forest and Brandon in particular has a history of flint mining dating back to the 18th & 19th centuries. Flint from here was used to make gunflint for the British Army during the Napoleonic wars (1799-1815). There is also one Scheduled Monument within the plan area known as White Hill, located west of the Heathland.
The management objectives for Brandon & Elveden are:
- The felling plans should aim for an even distribution of felled area for Woodlark/Nightjar nesting habitat and contribute to maintaining a minimum area of 12,757ha in cyclic clearfell. There should be no more than 10% of coupes*
- In accordance with the tolerance table on page 27, incorporate open space networks as detailed in the Thetford Open Habitat Plan, connecting up with external designated sites and encouraging distribution of designated rare flora and fauna.
- Agree Scheduled Monument (SM) management plan for White Hill with Historic England.
- Maintain and improve cultural and heritage value of the land by protecting sensitive heritage features highlighted through the Operational Site Assessment process.
- Create a pleasant natural environment for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation in a rural woodland setting.
- Manage an area around Brandon Country Park as continuous cover* for amenity and conservation value.
- Maintain recreational facilities to a high standard through inspection processes and partnership working with Timber, Friends of Thetford Forest and Brandon Country park.
- Maintain the land within our stewardship under UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS) certification by meeting standards detailed in UKWAS third edition.
- Improve economic resilience of our forests by increasing species diversity through restock programmes to protect future timber supplies and biomass.
- Assess the threat posed by Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB) in Corsican pine plantations
- The felling plan should aim to smooth production from crops in cyclic clearfell but also meet market commitments.
What we’ll do:
The Brandon & Elveden plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for a period of 70 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2027.
For further information regarding species composition and the future management of Elveden, please refer to the full plan below.