Coate Moor Forest Plan
Coate Moor Forest is an area of 154.9 hectares of mixed woodland, although majority Coniferous, situated on the northern fringe of the North York Moors National Park approximately seven kilometres from the edge of Middlesbrough.
The lease was acquired by the Forestry Commission in 1950, with additions made in the early 1960’s. It has become a very popular wood for walking and is used by a large number of people to walk up to Captain Cook’s Monument on Easby Moor.
Pine is the dominant species group at 30%, comprised primarily of Scots pine with Corsican and Lodgepole as lesser components. Spruce and larch are the next largest species group at 18% and 16% respectively. At 24%, Open Ground is a significant feature at Coate Moor compared to 14% in November 2000. Broadleaves account for 5% of the wood, dominated mainly by birch but alder, sycamore, ash and oak are also present.
The wood is well used by local people and visiting tourists. Although the leasehold status of the woods means they have not been dedicated as open access under CROW legislation, Gribdale car park provides a popular starting point for a large network of public rights of way and informal FE paths/tracks. The Cleveland Way long-distance footpath travels almost three and a half kilometres through Ayton Banks Wood and along the southern boundary of FE managed woodland at the top of Coate Moor. This and a number of other footpaths and tracks lead up to Captain Cook’s Monument, a popular tourist attraction.
The overall plan and long term vision for Coate Moor Forest is to increase the proportion of native broadleaf cover, particularly across areas of PAWS and areas of high conservation value.
Increase the diversity of the age structure by adjusting current felling patterns throughout the wood and enhance external and internal edges.
Conserve ancient and veteran trees and continue the restoration of PAWS to native dominant woodland.
Increase the woodlands contribution to the Cleveland Foothills Upland Fringe landscape character area where margins appear geometric and blocky.
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.
What We’ll Do
Coate Moore forest plan outlines management proposals for several 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.
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 Coate Moor.
The adoption of Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) across the core areas of Coate Moor, avoiding the more difficult and steep terrain at Easby Wood and below Ayton Banks Wood, 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:
This table illustrates how the plan will progress: