Kilburn and Oldstead Forest Plan

Kilburn and Oldstead Forest Plan


Kilburn and Oldstead comprises two forests which cover an area of 497.9 hectares of mixed coniferous and broadleaved woodland. The woods are situated in southwest corner of the North York Moors National Park. The property is both freehold and leasehold made up of 379ha freehold abd118ha leased. where the conifer stands were established by the Forestry Commission from the 1950s. 

The woodland is situated within the North York Moors National Park Western Fringe character area in a primarily agricultural setting.

The forests contain 176.15ha of ancient woodland and support a range of regionally and nationally important bird species. There is a rich and wide range of cultural heritage features including 3 scheduled monuments such as an early medieval motte and bailey and a late bronze age promontory fort. Kilburn is also notable as containing the Kilburn White Horse which was constructed during the Victorian era.


The long-term vision for Kilburn and Oldstead woods is to continue the gradual increase of native broadleaf cover, while increasing the diversity of species and age structure across areas of productive woodland.


Improve the resilience of the natural environment to pests, diseases and wildfires and realise the potential of these woods for nature and wildlife, to be measured by Natural England and FC systems accordingly.

Maintain the ecological, cultural and heritage value of these woods, to be measured by Historic England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems accordingly.

Where practicable, manage stands through Lower Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS) regeneration felling, utilising natural regeneration and enrichment planting, particularly across areas of PAWS whilst targeting the retention of high-value Douglas Fir crops.


Maintain the woodlands contribution to the landscape character NYMNPA Western Fringe character area. To be measured by fixed-point photography.

Clearfells will be designed so that their size and scale are in keeping with the surrounding landscape. To be measured by fixed-point photography.

Continue to manage and provide for public access across this woodland, including the management of the car park facility.


All of our forests and woodlands are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) licence code FSC-C123214 and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) licence code PEFC/16-40-1001 standards. We will maintain the land within our stewardship certified against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, as independently assessed by annual independent surveillance audits.

Maximise and maintain a sustainable supply of timber from a diverse range of site-appropriate conifer and broadleaf species, to be measured by FC systems.

With 85% of the plantable area supporting productive high forest (167.2 ha conifer, 255.9 ha broadleaf), Kilburn & Oldstead remains an important block for its contribution to the districts timber producing capacity, particularly hardwoods. 

Continue the reduction of Larch as a component within mixed stands, consider group felling/small scale regenerative felling in pure stands.

What we will do

Kilburn and Oldstead Forest Plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for 10 years from 2023 to 2033.

The planned areas of conifer, broadleaf and other habitats during the ten years to 2033 are summarised in the table below.

summarised in the table below.

Habitat type (based on principle species planted)Area – hectares% of total area  
Broadleaved; mixed/yew woodlands24626027049.452.254.2  
Coniferous woodlands179.4165.4155.43633.231.2  
Other; lowland dry acid grassland; upland birchwoods, heathland & oakwood72.472.472.414.514.514.5  

In addition to these defined operations, selective thinning and group and irregular shelterwood felling will be carried out.

We will protect and, where appropriate, enhance all known sites of ecological and cultural importance and all sites, regardless of their designation, will receive the same level of care during the planning and execution of forest operations. The operation planning system will ensure they are recognised and the proper measures for their protection are in place before work begins.

The areas of group and irregular shelterwood felling carried out as part of LISS will be replanted to diversify species and age structure and to continue to provide a sustainable timber resource, whilst mindful of the projected impacts of climate change.

The development of future areas of broadleaf woodland will look to create a robust network of habitats linking conifer and broadleaf woodland where natural regeneration of suitable species will be the preferred method of establishment.

FellingArea - hectares

% of total area

(excl. SSSI)

Projected volume (m3)