Didlington Forest Plan
The Didlington forest plan covers 919 hectares of Thetford forest, located north of Mundford, in the county of Norfolk. The main 'spine' of the woodland runs from Foulden in the north to Ickburgh in the south. Four smaller woodlands surround the main block including Bodney, Didlington, Spring covert and the Sweating course. Bodney is leasehold land but the remaining areas are held as freehold and are open access land.
Didlington forest includes 719 hectares which is part of the Breckland Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) dedicated for a range of rare flora and fauna, and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for the Woodlark and Nightjar. Most of Didlington is planted with pine which is sustainably managed for timber through a cycle of clearfelling and replanting, providing habitat for these ground nesting birds.
There are significant areas of diverse broadleaf woodland, the majority of which is located in the Didlington wood, a particualrly wet area. However, smaller broadeaf pockets and belts are present across the plan area. The most significant heritage features found within the plan area include WW2 infrastructure remains, langford warren and an Ice house.
A PDF of the full forest plan can be found in the related documents section on this page.
•The felling plans should aim for an even distribution of felled area for Woodlark/Nightjar habitat and contribute to maintaining a minimum area of 12,757ha in cyclic clearfell. There should be no more than 10% of coupes
•In accordance with the tolerance table on page 24, incorporate open space networks as detailed in the Thetford Open Habitat Plan, encouraging distribution of rare flora and fauna.
•In partnership with the Freshwater Habitat Trust, survey ground ice depressions, commonly termed pingos in Spring covert, to assess their conservation value and inform future management decisions.
•Maintain and improve cultural and heritage value of the land by protecting sensitive heritage features highlighted through the operational site assessment process.
•Create a pleasant natural environment for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation in a rural woodland setting.
•Manage an area around the campsite at High Ash as continuous cover for amenity value.
•Maintain recreational facilities to a high standard through inspection processess and partnership working with Desert Rats association, Desert rats Memorial and Friends of Thetford Forest.
•Maintain the land within our stewardship under UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS) certification by meeting standards detailed in UKWAS third edition.
•Improve economic resiliance of our forests by increasing species diversity through restock programmes to protect future timber supplies and biomass.
•Assess the threat posed by Dothisroma Needle Blight in Corsican Pine plantations under 40 years old, through survey work. Identify suitable silvicultural practices including underplanting for areas of high infection to maintain economic viability.
•The felling plan should aim to smooth production from crops in cyclic clearfell but also meet market commitments.
What we'll do
The Didlington forest plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for a period of 70 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2027.
The areas of clearfelling, restocking and open space creation planned for the 10 years to 2027 are summarised below.
Clearfelling of 84ha of conifers. Restocking of 84ha of conifers. Selective felling of 21ha of conifers and 24ha of broadleaves.
The species composition will also change from 81% conifer, 14% broadleaf and 5% open space in 2017 to 75% conifer, 16% broadleaf and 9% open space in 2086.