Cropton Forest plan

Cropton Forest plan


Cropton Forest is an area of 3662 hectares of primarily coniferous woodland with some broadleaf coverage. It is situated approximately 9 km north of Pickering on the eastern fringe of the North York Moors National Park. The forest is a freehold property where planting began in the 1920’s but more significantly over the 1950’s and 1960’s and remains extensively coniferous in composition.

The majority of the forest is covered by the; ‘Forest character type – Cropton character area’ and  is located toward the south-east corner of the North York Moors National Park. Over the past 12 years the more notable changes are the reduction in area of larch and the increase of ‘open’ as an overall percentage. ‘Open’ is mainly split between 37.57 ha of permanent open space designated as SSSI/SPA/SAC at Hartoft Rigg and the remaining 310.73 ha is made up of successional open space associated with conservation and archaeological sites, habitat corridors and streamsides.


The long term vision for Cropton Forest is to develop a mosaic of habitats adjacent the moorland boundary, maintain the cultural and natural heritage sites, consider the selection for alternative tree species to boost resilience and diversity of the forest and work with partners to identify opportunities to develop a landscape-scale project across the iconic Newtondale valley in line with ‘Biodiversity Plan: Forest Wilding’.


Improve the resilience of the natural environment and realise the potential of these woods for nature and wildlife, to be measured by Natural England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems.

Maintain the cultural and ecological  heritage value of these woods, to be measured by Natural England, Historic England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems.


Encourage communities to become involved across these woods, its management and direction through consultation in planning and participation in volunteering. To be measured by FC systems.

Provision and maintenance of recreational facilities within the forest, to sustain economic and social function, whilst achieving the plans other objectives. Facilitating opportunities for third parties to utilise the land for recreational activities where appropriate. To be measured by stakeholder consultation and Business Accounting Systems.

Maintain and improve the woodlands contribution to the landscape character within the North York Moors National Park ‘Forest landscape type – Cropton Forest character area’ and ‘Narrow glacial channel and griffs character type – Newtondale character area’. To be measured by fixed-point photography.


All of our forests and woodland are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) licence code FSC-C123214 and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) licence code PEFC/16-40-1001 standards. We will maintain the land within our stewardship certified against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, as independently assessed by annual independent surveillance audits.

Improve the economic resilience of these woods from a more diverse range of site appropriate conifer and broadleaf species, to be measured by FC systems.

What we will do

The Cropton Forest Plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for 10 years from 2022 to 2032.

The planned areas of conifer, broadleaf and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2032 are summarised in the table below.



Habitat type 

(based on principal species established)

 Area – hectares

 Area – hectares

 Area – hectares

% age of total area

% age of total area

% age of total area

Year2022 2032     20522022  2032     2052



2761.66 2807.15


77       75



346.45    324.21


9          10

Open/successional open inc. blanket mire, agriculture, felled, wooded heath, riparian corridors etc


516.32    493.07


13        14 
Upland Atlantic Heath SSSI/SAC/SPA37.57       37.57   37.571        1     1

In addition to these defined operations, selective thinning, strip felling and group felling will be carried out.

We will protect and, where appropriate, enhance all known sites of archaeological and ecological importance and all sites, regardless of their designation, will receive the same level of care during the planning and execution of forest operations. The operation planning system will ensure they are recognised and the proper measures for their protection are in place before work begins.

The areas of group and strip felling carried out as part of the Lower Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS) will be replanted to diversify species and age structure and to continue to provide a sustainable timber resource, whilst mindful of the projected impacts of climate change.

The development of future areas of broadleaf woodland will look to create a robust network of habitats linking conifer and broadleaf woodland with internal and external heath communities and riparian corridors where natural regeneration will be the preferred method of establishment.



% of total area (excl. SSSI/SAC/SPA)

Projected volume (m3)

2022-2026 Clearfell231.456.464,497
2027-2031 Clearfell176.714.952,907
2032-2031 Clearfell29.010.810,1888