Croxton Forest Plan

About

The Croxton forest plan area totals 714 hectares (ha) of Forestry England land, which is part of Thetford Forest, in the county of Norfolk. Public access is permitted on foot across the whole plan area. The main user groups include walkers and horse riders.

Croxton forest is part of the Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designated for a range of rare flora and fauna, and Breckland Special Protection Area (SPA), for Woodlark and Nightjar. Most of Croxton is planted with pine which is sustainably managed for timber through a cycle of clearfelling and replanting, providing habitat for these ground nesting birds. Croxton heath located to the east of the plan area, also provides habitat for these species and acts as an extension to the adjacent East Wretham heath SSSI.

There are areas of broadleaved woodland predominantly located in belts along forest boundaries. Many are linked with conifer belts to create a continuous border around the forest protecting the internal and external landscape. Linking conifer and broadleaf belts provides an important opportunity to develop more mixed species boundaries overtime. There are also small pockets of broadleaf forest located near to the Devil’s Punchbowl, Fowlmere wood, Mickle Hill Tumulus and The Stronghold. These areas provide the greatest biodiversity and long term carbon storage. They are managed through low impact silvicultural systems to ensure minimum disturbance.

Heritage features associated with previous land use are found throughout the forest. There is one Scheduled Monument within the plan area known as Mickle Hill, located west of the plan area.  

Objectives

For Wildlife:

  • To protect, maintain and enhance designated sites.
  • To protect, maintain and enhance priority habitats.
  • To protect, maintain and enhance priority species.

For People:

  • Create a pleasant natural environment for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation in a rural woodland setting.
  • Maintain and improve cultural and heritage value of the land by protecting sensitive  heritage features highlighted through the operational site assessment process.
  • Agree management plans for 1 scheduled monument (SM) in Croxton, with Historic England.

For Climate: 

  • Maintain the land within our stewardship under FSC®/PEFC certification by meeting standards detailed in UKWAS fourth edition.
  • Increase forest resilience to threats posed by climate change, pests, diseases and fire.

Our Sustainable Approach:

  • Improve economic resilience of our forests by increasing species diversity through restock programmes and mixed silvicultural practices, to protect future timber supplies and biomass.
  • The felling plan should aim to smooth production from crops in cyclic clearfell but also meet market commitments.

What we’ll do

The Croxton forest plan outlines management proposals including felling and restock for a period of 70 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2032.

For further information regarding species composition and the future management of Croxton, please refer to the full plan below.