Grizedale Forest Plan

Grizedale Forest Plan

About Grizedale Forest Plan

This plan brings together three woodland blocks into one Forest Plan. The Grizedale and Stricely plan was previously revised in 2008, while the previous Low Dale Park plan was from 2009. Bringing these plans together reflect their shared characteristics, proximity, and similar future management objectives.

Grizedale, Low Dale Park and Stricely together occupy an area of 2512h and are sited in the Grizedale valley with forestry planting on either side. The forest block contains 2106ha of woodland, and 240ha of tenanted agricultural land. Most of the forest was purchased in 1937 from the Brocklebank estate and is owned freehold. The main planting programmes were completed between 1939 and 1955, with further acquisitions and planting continuing through the 1960s.

Coniferous tree species dominate Grizedale, with Sitka spruce making up just over half of the wooded area. Historically larch provided useful variety in the landscape, although outbreaks of Phytophthora Ramorum in the last decade have proven this species to no longer viable in Grizedale. Plant health notices and associated felling have resulted in larch falling from 15% of the forest in 2020, to under 5% by 2023.

Recreationally, Grizedale is managed for multi-purpose objectives, and in recent years various companies have invested in partnership with the Forestry England to provide recreation facilities for the public, as a result Grizedale is now a major visitor destination in the Lake District National Park.

Objectives of Grizedale's Forest Plan

For climate:

  • Successful restock sites and underplanting operations with minimised pest damage. Successful natural regeneration where appropriate to utilise natural processes.
  • Greater areas of Low Impact Silvicultural Systems management and more varied age distribution in the forest.
  • Delivery of Forest Plan felling/thinning proposals of commercially marketable parcels of timber to maintain sustainable productivity of the forest.

For wildlife:

  • Maintain suitable habitat for red squirrel, coupe checks prior to operations, support grey squirrel control.
  • Improved riparian zones through broadleaf planting.
  • Enhance Ancient and Semi-Natural Woodland condition. Improved semi-natural woodland scores, increased areas in SN1 and SN2.

For people:

  • Continue to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the forest within the Lake District National Park.
  • Visual improvement through successful restock sites with alternative conifer species in previous larch areas, including targeted small enclosures of Aspen and other broadleaves to add colour back to the forest and fill the gaps left by larch.
  • Targeted tree selection around Carron Crag summit to preserve the view outward from the summit.

What we'll do

Grizedale has undergone a significant change during the last plan period as large areas of larch which had been infected by Phytophthora Ramorum have been felled. In this plan period the last remaining pure larch crops will also be felled.

The opportunity to create new mixed stands will improve the forest in the period after this felling takes place, with an increased variety of conifer and broadleaf species proposed when compared to the current forest composition.

This plan creates opportunities to increase the areas managed under Low Impact Silvicultural Systems to the long-term benefit of the forest, through increased age, species, and structural diversity.

This plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over several decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2033.

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