Cogra Moss Forest Plan
Cogra Moss is situated on the north western edge of the Lake District National Park around 2km east of the village of Lamplugh. The forest is freehold, purchased by the Forestry Commission in the early 1960’s and covers an area of 263ha. It was planted in the mid 1960’s to early 1970’s with predominantly coniferous species.
Of the total 263ha area approximately 150ha is forested, which incorporates 13ha of open space and approximately 100ha of open fell and heathland above the treeline.
The current species composition is mostly conifer, a mixture of spruce, lodgepole pine and larch with Sitka spruce dominant and more recent restocking with mixed broadleaves.
Cogra Moss is situated wholly within the Lake District National Park. There are no other statutory designations.
There is considerable wildlife interest within Cogra Moss including heather moor land, mires and acid grassland. Blake Fell is an expansive open upland area which provides an important biological resource which is in contrast to the surrounding grazed fell land.
No Scheduled Ancient Monuments are present within the forest, however there are a number of unscheduled heritage sites associated with the remnants of mining dating back from the mid-nineteenth century with the remains of old mine workings, centred on Knockmurton.
Cogra Moss benefits from an extensive forest road, ride and path network providing good access to the forest and on to Blakefell with circular walking and running routes. The shore of the reservoir and the public right of way which leads from the LDNP car park at Felldyke provide the main access routes into the forest which is well used by the local community and visitors for informal recreation. The higher elevation permissive path gives good views into the central fells and out to the west coast and beyond.
Our aim is to create a more diverse and resilient woodland, with a greater range of species and habitats. The objectives of management here are:
•Maximise the value of sustainable timber production by felling and restocking with productive mixtures and species best suited to the soils, and by thinning windfirm stands.
•Although Sitka spruce remains the principle commercial species for restocking wider species diversification will be introduced to improve resilience of the forest.
•Developing mixed broadleaved areas could provide local woodfuel market opportunities.
•Environmental improvements will be delivered through forest restructuring achieved through felling, thinning and restocking and open space management.
•At restocking, as indicated by the indicative restocking plan, the opportunity is being taken to restock both to mitigate the straight boundaries of the earlier planting, increase the open area, and introduce a wider range of conifer and broadleaf species.
•Increase the extent of mixed broadleaved woodland and fell Sitka spruce from areas of mire adjacent to the reservoir.
•The upper forest boundary will be realigned post harvesting to achieve better integration with adjacent moorland with the planting of low density woodland habitat .
•Improve the external attractiveness of the woodland through restructuring and choice of species and silvicultural systems.
•Ensure continued informal access to the forest which is dedicated under CROW.
•Consideration to public access during all forest operations.
What we'll do
The proposals in this plan will lead to a more diverse and resilient woodland, with a greater range of species and habitats. Substantial areas of alternative conifer species will have been established and the range of broadleaved woodland will have been extended. Transitional low density planting habitat on the upper margins will have been established contributing to landscape enhancement objectives.
Timber production remains a priority and will continue through a clearfell/restock regime with the focus on Sitka spruce but with a much broader range of conifer species and broadleaves at the lower elevations. This strategy will also contribute toward climate change mitigation and long term forest resilience.
Public use of the forest will continue to be made available with ongoing maintenance of permissive and public routes as appropriate.
The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over several decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2027.
For further information regarding species composition and the future management of Cogra Moss, please refer to the full plan below.