Lydford Forest Plan

Lydford Forest Plan


The Lydford Forest plan area comprises 236ha of woodlands on the Western edge of Dartmoor, Devon, and includes the Burley Down and Brentor woodlands along with Lydford Forest. The public forest here has a fairly even split between conifer and broadleaf cover, the latter being a dominant feature of Lydford Forest and the Brentor Woods.

The Lydford woodlands are actively managed to provide timber for local and national businesses, and to improve the quality of the remaining tree crop. Lydford Forest is also recognised as a site of biodiversity importance, and as such is managed to benefit rare and threatened butterfly species including the pearl-bordered fritillary. Heritage value is also a key factor in the management of Lydford because of the three scheduled monuments within the public forest.


  • The continued production of sustainable and marketable woodland products.
  • To conserve, maintain and enhance cultural and heritage assets, their setting and the historical environment.
  • The provision and maintenance of recreation facilities.
  • The diversification of woodland species and structure for greater ecological and economic resilience.
  • The delivery of well-designed proposals that comply with landscape principles in keeping with the local landscape character.
  • To protect and enhance woodland and open habitats and their associated species.
  • To protect and enhance areas of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland and restore areas of PAWS in line with ‘Keepers of Time’.
  • The restoration and management of key wildlife species.

To be resilient to future changes in climate and threats from pests and diseases, the Lydford woodlands need to be diverse – in terms of species, structure and ecology. Structural diversity will be increased through variations in thinning regimes and patterns, and through coppicing with standards in some areas, clearfelling, retaining some stands past economic maturity and managing different types of shelterwoods.

Projects we will undertake during the Forest Plan period include:

  • Coppicing – a key aim of this plan is to start and maintain a coppicing rotation across key areas of the woodland.
  • PAWS restoration - gradual removal of conifers from Lydford Forest and the Brentor woods to restore areas of native woodland.
  • Roadside management – Roadsides will be managed through widening by removing adjacent crops.
  • Open space – Open space will be created through the block through coppicing and roadside widening, as well as through maintaining open space across the three scheduled areas in Lydford Forest.

More details are provided in the plan below – see pages 13-15 in particular. Appended to the back of the forest plan is the Scheduled Monument plan for the heritage features in Lydford Forest.