Dodd Wood Forest Plan

About

Dodd Wood occupies an area of 302 ha to the south east of Bassenthwaite Lake, 4km north of Keswick. It lies on the western flank of the Skiddaw mountain range and is wholly within the Lake District National Park.

The majority of the land was leased from the Mirehouse Estate in 1924. Planting started in the late 1920’s and extent of the current afforested area was complete by the early 1960’s. Species range from Douglas fir on the lower slopes through larch and beech to Sitka spruce at upper elevations.

Felling and restocking commenced in 1980 following wide-ranging consultations and the agreement of a felling plan. To date, approximately 30% of the original plantings have been felled. The forest has been managed to multi-purpose objectives for many years with considerable landscape planning and extensive provision made for public access, combined with extensive use of continuous cover forestry techniques to expand the area of Dodd under continuous canopy.

Dodd is primarily used for recreational purposes by walkers. Dodd Fell is a popular and accessible Wainwright summit with good access using the forest road network, and public footpaths. It is often climbed as part of a circuit with other northern fells including Skiddaw. Four walking trails which incorporate stretches of forest roads and footpaths create a total length of 8.26km of permanent trails in Dodd Wood. Informal paths and trails are also scattered across Dodd wood, although the summit trail is the focus for most visitors.

Objectives

Economic

  • Establish economically viable and commercially marketable parcels of timber to maintain future productivity of the forest
  • Maintain timber harvesting access and infrastructure

Environmental

  • Protect and enhance historic features
  • Greater areas of LISS management to increase diversity and resilience in the forest
  • Enhancement of natural habitats in the forest

Social

  • Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the forest
  • Continued provision of the Opsrey viewpoint

What we’ll do

Over the life of the forest plan, the restructuring of Dodd Wood will be gradual. The intention is not for this process to be rushed and to keep the rate of change across the forest slow. The threat of Phytophthora Ramorum to larch has the potential to cause significant disruption within Dodd, and most of the forest structure changes will be seen in these areas, as they are gradually thinned and underplanted with alternative conifer species. This plan also sets in place the expansion of Low Impact Silvicultural Systems management to wider areas of Dodd Wood, with the option for more coupes to be converted in the future. This increase in LISS management will result in greater diversity within the forest structure over time. This plan helps move Dodd into a broader thinning regime, with less reliance on clearfells as Low Impact Silvicultural Systems management becomes the majority management scheme for the forest.

The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over several decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2030.

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