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Greater Manchester Forest Plan

About

The Greater Manchester Forest Plan comprises of 13 woodlands covering 313.7ha comprising of mainly new woodlands set in the heart of Manchester, Salford, Rochdale and on the outskirts of Bolton (Moston Vale, Forest Bank, Drinkwater, Waterdale, Hurst, Robin Hood Wood, Silverdale, Clifton Hill, Roch Wood, Belfield, Jubilee Wood, Meadowfield). 

The woodlands were planted between 1985 and 2000 and are dominated by mixed broadleaved woodlands with small areas of evergreen conifers planted on old industrial, ex-agricultural and mineral sites.  The woodlands are well designed with a good network of paths and open spaces making them popular with local residents and attracting hundreds of visitors on a daily basis.

The management plans objectives will be to grow commercial crops on a sustainable basis, diversify the forest structure through thinning and new planting, increase the number of Trees of Special interest and deadwood habitats, improve the value of the woodlands for biodiversity and maintain the public access facilities.

Objectives

The main objectives for the Greater Manchester Forest Plan are:

Economic

• Production of commercial conifers and broadleaves managed on a sustainable basis
• Introduction of new species to help mitigate against the impact of climate change, pests and diseases and allow mixed broadleaf and conifer stands to develop
• Additional planting to increase the area of woodland, increase structural diversity, colour and texture by planting a mixture of species in blocks so that they create strong focal points

Social

• Emphasis on providing a safe and welcoming green spaces for families and to bring communities together.

Continue to work with individuals and groups to deliver a wide range of events and to help develop greater involvement and care of the woodlands and associated habitats and wildlife.

Environmental

• Diversify woodlands as they mature to create a wide variety of habitats for wildlife.
• Increase deadwood habitats and identify future Trees of Special Interest.
• Vary grass cutting programme to increase available feeding and nesting habitats.

What we'll do

The plan details management operations including approved felling and restocking for the 10 years to 2029, with outline proposals for a 50 year period.

The young woodlands will not change greatly during the plan approval period with just one small felling operations scheduled.  Thinning operations will begin in most of the woodland areas and these will be designed to remove diseased trees, open up paths and provide adequate space for the remaining trees to grown and develop.  Some new planting will take place within the current woodlands where diseased trees are removed.  The most significant change will be at Medowfield where a new woodland will be created.  New planting will comprise largely of evergreen conifers and this will be the only measurable change in the design plan area over the next 10 year period.

Area (ha)ConifersBroadleaves
Felling1.40.0
Restocking and new planting25.92.2