Forest of Bere Forest Plan
The Woodlands of the Forest of Bere cover 1140.3 hectares and lie to the West of the South Downs. The individual woods within this area are West Walk, Creech Wood, Havant Block, Stoke Park and Whiteley Pastures. The majority of the woods are held by the Forestry Commission on a freehold basis, but some of the Havant Block is managed under a leasehold contract. The woodlands vary in the species of tree being grown with Stoke, West Walk and Whiteley dominated by Broadleaf varieties, while the other woods display more of a mix between Broadleaf and Conifer trees.
The Forest of Bere has open access for the public under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, with the exceptions of Stoke Park and some of the Havant Block. The woods are very popular with the public and enjoy a high number of visitors. Some sites, including Creech, Stoke and West Walk, provide play infrastructures for visitors, with West Walk also offering a BBQ site, seasonal catering and toilets.
The woods contain large areas of ancient woodland which is an important point for conservation interest. In addition to this Creech has been designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and a considerable area in Whiteley is a SSSI. Within the woods are contained two Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
The objectives of management here are to:
• Maintain and increase the native composition of ancient semi-natural woodland.
• Restore planted ancient woodland sites to native and honorary native woodland.
• Maintain sustainable access and the provision for recreation within the woodlands, taking opportunities to enhance the experience where appropriate.
• Take opportunities to increase the nature conservation value of other existing habitats.
• Maintain and take opportunities to increase the resilience of the woodlands by diversifying age structure and appropriate species mix within the woodlands.
• Provide a regular supply of quality timber to support local employment and local timber processing industries.
What we’ll do
Approval has been granted for the operations to run from December 2014 to December 2024.During this period 26.9 hectares of Conifer trees will be felled and replaced by mixed tree species which will either be replanted or allowed to naturally regenerate. 19.7 hectares of naturally regenerated Conifer trees and 19.7 hectares of naturally regenerated or replanted Broadleaf trees will also be felled. 996.7 hectares will be managed under a shelter-wood system and 40.5 hectares under a system of Coppice management. The 14.6 hectares of permanent open space, 35.6 hectares of Natural Reserve and 6.3 hectares of car park will continue to be managed.
The species composition will also change from 26% conifer, 55% broadleaf, 17% mixed woodland, 1% open space and 1% carpark/road/buildings in 2014 to 81% broadleaf, 17% mixed woodland, 1% open space and 1% carpark/road/buildings in 2024.