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Broxa Forest Plan

About

Broxa Forest is an area of 730 hectares of mixed woodland, although a majority of the wood is Coniferous, situated in the south east of the North York Moors National Park less than 10 kilometres from Scarborough.

Larch and Pine are the dominant species groups at 26% and 25 % respectively, comprised primarily of Japanese larch and Scots pine, with Hybrid larch, Corsican and Lodgepole pine as lesser components. Broadleaves account for 19% of woodland cover, dominated by birch and beech with ash, oak, sycamore and alder also present. Open Ground, felled and unplanted land accounts for 12% of the forest area.

Broxa is situated in the ‘Langdale Forest’ landscape character area in the south-east of the North York Moors National Park, on gradually rising former upland moor. At the start of the previous plan (2002), the forest was largely coniferous in nature, with significant areas planted in the 1940’s and 50’s (65% by area). Although still predominantly coniferous (69 %), the structure has changed with almost 13% (100 hectares) of the 1940 – 50 age-range having been felled and restocked, creating a more structurally diverse woodland.

The wood is very well used by local people and visiting tourists for walking, horse riding and cycling. Although the leasehold status across part of the woods means not all has been dedicated as open access under CROW legislation, Reasty Top car park provides a popular starting point for a large network of public rights of way and informal paths and tracks.

Although the woods at Broxa are predominantly secondary plantation conifer woods, almost 25% are designated as Ancient Woodland Site (AWS), located in the deeply incised valleys of Lang Dale, High Dales, Whisper Dales and Bready Gill. Broxa forest contains a rich and regionally important resource of historic features with 30 scheduled monuments, several of which are of significant importance at a landscape scale, and nearly 200 unscheduled monuments including Barns Cliff House and its associated banks and walls.

Objectives

The overall plan and long term vision forBroxa Forest is to increase the proportion of native broadleaf cover, particularly across areas of PAWS and areas of high conservation value.

Environmental

Conserve ancient and veteran trees and continue the restoration of PAWS to native dominant woodland.

Ensure scheduled and unscheduled ecological and historic features are maintained in target condition and improved where opportunities arise.

Increase the diversity of the age structure by adjusting current felling patterns throughout the wood

Economic

Maximise and maintain a sustainable supply of timber from site-appropriate conifer and broadleaf species.

Consider the selection of alternative main tree species that will contribute toward a greater range of species diversity to maintain or increase timber productivity

Social

Increase the woodlands contribution to the Langdale Forest landscape character area, particularly where margins appear geometric and blocky.

Ensure SAM’s are maintained in target condition.

What we'll do

Management proposals for Broxa forest include both felling and thinning for ten years until 2021.

All sites, regardless of their designation, will receive the same level of care during the planning and execution of forest operations. The operational planning system will ensure they are recognised and the proper measures for their protection are in place before work begins. This planning system also ensures that, where possible, opportunities to enhance the condition of archaeological interest are taken during routine forest work. For example:

  • Along the top of the gently sloping plateaux overlooking the Limestone Dales there are a significant number of scheduled tumuli and a public footpath that provides a link with the forest and the wider historic landscape. This may present future opportunities to develop on-site interpretation in partnership with stakeholders.

We will increase the diversity of tree species and age structure that will maintain and improve favourable habitats for target species and identified habitats. This is particularly beneficial for the range of priority woodland bird species recorded close to Broxa, including Marsh tit, Woodcock and Tree pipit

We will continue to sustainably harvest timber both from clearfell and thinnings, and where appropriate develop broadleaf stands to increase their contribution to timber production. These operations will be planned and controlled to ensure due regard for all other objectives of management at Broxa.

The adoption of Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) across the plateaux areas of Broxa, avoiding the more difficult and steep terrain along the scarp slope and deeply incised gills in Lang Dale, will contribute toward the creation of more species and structurally diverse woodlands within the landscape.

The remaining areas will be managed on a high forest-clearfell system where the coupe size and shape are in keeping with the scale of the woodland blocks and the surrounding landscape. The resulting diversity in age and height that the clearfell system produces will enhance both external and internal views of the woodlands.

Planned areas for conifer, broadleaf and open space at the end of the plan are outlined in the following table:

Habitat type        (based on principal species established)

Area – hectares

% age of total area

Conifer

397.7

54

Broadleaf

307.3

42

Heathland, and planned open areas

25.0

4

This table illustrates how the plan will progress:

Felling

Area - hectares

 

% of total area

Projected volume (m3)

2012 – 2016 Clearfell

       63.4

9

    14 180

2017 – 2021 Clearfell

       39.6

5

    12 130

Continuous Cover

         8.0

1

      2 000

Minimum Intervention

     111.5

15