Haugh Wood Forest Plan
Haugh Wood forest plan area consists of one 366ha block of mixed broadleaf and coniferous woodland to the east of Hereford. It lies within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and is an important Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI), primarily designated for its rich invertebrate assemblage and native woodland types which have limited national distribution.
It is located at the highest point of the Woolhope Dome, but is not overly dominant within the well-wooded wider landscape, which is identified in the National Character Assessment as a distinctive local feature within this part of Herefordshire.
The plan area is made up of plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) and ancient woodland, meaning that the woods will gradually be restored to native woodland through the removal of conifer and the natural regeneration or restocking of native tree species. The majority of the conifers within Haugh Woods are now beginning to enter maturity having been planted in the 1950s-1970s. The broadleaves are more varied, with mature stands of beech and oak interspersed with coppice coupes, many of which have been established since 2010, providing increased age structure and diversity.
Protecting and enhancing the conservation value of Haugh Wood is a high priority which will be achieved alongside the sustainable production of timber through clearfelling and thinning.
The social, economic and environmental objectives of management here are:
- the continued production of sustainable and marketable woodland products;
- the continued use of continuous cover forest systems;
- the diversification of woodland species structure for greater ecological and economic resilience;
- the provision and maintenance of recreation facilities;
- to conserve, maintain and enhance cultural and heritage assets;
- to deliver well-designed forests that both protect and enhance the internal and external landscape in keeping with the local landscape character;
- the creation and maintenance of permanent and transient open habitats;
- to protect and enhance areas of ancient semi-natural woodland and restore areas of PAWS in line with the “Keepers of Time”policy;
- the management of the Site of Special Scientific Interest;
- to protect and enhance woodland and open habitats and their associated species.
What we’ll do
During this forest plan period, we will build on progress achieved over the last ten years in creating a more complex and diverse woodland, increasing both species diversity and age structure across the woodland extent, whilst gradually reverting Haugh Wood back to a native broadleaf woodland.
Coppice coupes will be managed in rotation to provide a mosaic of transitional open space alongside clearfelling and restocking activity. There will also be a programme of thinning of conifers and broadleaves on a 5 to 10 year cycle, which will benefit key species for which Haugh Wood SSSI is designated.