Hartwood and Ironmine Forest Plan
The Hartwood and Ironmine Forest Plan area is made up of a number of scattered woods mainly on the plateaus and valley sides alongside the River Fowey. They are known as Bazley’s, Hartwood, Brown Queen, Warren and Ironmine Woods. The Hartwood and Ironmine woodlands are situated a few miles to the south of Bodmin in theparishes of Lanhydrock, Lostwithiel, St Winnow and Cardinham The local authority is Cornwall Council.
In earlier times the woods would have been managed as traditional oak coppice with standards to produce charcoal and building materials for local use or as grazed agricultural land. Acquired by the Forestry Commission in the early 1950's and mostly cleared of the much of the broadleaves they were planted with conifers (Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, beech and Japanese larch). Much of the Nation’s forests here are ancient woodland having been planted with conifer to address the national timber shortage of the early Twentieth Century. The area is now known to produce quality fir and spruce log which makes up the majority of the tree cover supplemented primarily with beech and larch. Areas of remnant ancient semi-natural woodland do remain and are made up of oak and birch with ash. Most of the areas are actively managed to provide timber for local and national businesses, and to improve the quality of the remaining tree crop.
The Plan area is ecologically valuable with habitat such as Priority Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland .used by for bats and raptor as well as other important flora and fauna species. Much of the Plan area is leased and as such access is constrained to public rights of way, areas of freehold are Open Access, confirmed by the Countryside Rights of Way Act. The woodlands are popular with walkers and cyclists, as part of the wider Lanhydrock cycling and walking network.
The core aim of the Plan is to begin to progress the 50 Year Vision by producing woodlands which continue to sustainably produce timber whilst providing a forest rich in wildlife, attractive to people and increasingly resilient to climate change, pests and diseases.
The social, economic and environmental objectives of management are:
• The continued production of sustainable and marketable woodland products.
• Protect and enhance woodland and open habitats and their associated species.
• To protect, enhance and restore areas of ancient woodland in line with the ‘Keepers of Time’ policy.
• The provision and maintenance of recreation facilities.
• Deliver well-designed forests that both protect and enhance the internal and external landscape in keeping with the local landscape character .
• To conserve, maintain and enhance cultural and heritage assets.
What We’ll Do
The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over several decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2030. The Plan makes provision to develop the complex and dynamic crop compositions of quality fir and spruce shelterwood forest. Areas identified as PAWS will be managed as mixed woodland to maximise their productive potential, with the aim of a gradual return to native woodland.
The Plan makes provision to ensure proposals are in keeping with the enclosed farmed and wooded landscape. Implementation and maintenance of an environmental corridor system will continue to increase diversity of habitat and internal landscaping.
The planned areas of clearfelling, restocking and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2030 are summarised below.
Clearfelling of 5ha of conifers. Restocking/regeneration with 2.3ha conifers and 1.7ha of native broadleaves and the remaining as open space. In addition to these defined operations, ongoing thinning and selective felling of both conifers and broadleaves will be carried out in the plan area at five to ten year intervals. The species composition will also change from 40% conifer, 55% broadleaf and 5% open space in 2020 to 37% conifer, 57% broadleaf and 6% open space in 2029.