New Forest Inclosures Forest Plan
The Plan encompasses around 8500 hectares of the approximately 24,000 hectares of the New Forest Crown Lands managed by the Forestry Commission.
The Inclosures are included within the New Forest designations of Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest. These designations identify qualifying and notified features including open habitats of heathland and grassland, ancient pasture woodlands and wetlands as well as species such as ground nesting birds, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. In addition to these features, many other habitats and species benefit from the unique historic management of the New Forest.
The Inclosures, as part of the New Forest Crown Lands, fall entirely within the New Forest National Park and as such, play an important role in the delivery of the objectives of the National Park Authority.
The New Forest Inclosures have also historically been an important source of forestry products including high quality timber and firewood. These products, resulting from management of the Inclosure woodlands have historically, and continue to provide employment opportunities, income to support the wider management of the New Forest and high quality products for use by people far and wide.
The New Forest lies in the south of England, within commuting distance of London and in an area of increasing human population and urban development. It is estimated that the New Forest is subject to around 12.5 million day visits per year, averaging to around 34,000 visits per day.
The Plan has been developed to balance the high value that the New Forest offers to nature, the economy and people.
The objectives of management in the New Forest Inclosures are:
- To provide a regular supply of quality timber to support local employment and local timber processing industries
- To sustain and protect existing habitats of nature conservation interest
- To develop woodlands that are more attractive and are sympathetic to their landscape context
- To develop woodlands that provide opportunities for public enjoyment
- To protect all ancient monuments and any other features of cultural heritage
What we’ll do
The plan was signed off by Forest Services in December 2019.
The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking as well as permanent open space and heathland creation to restore degraded habitats within the New Forest Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The species composition in 2006 was 41% predominantly conifer woodland, 33% predominantly broadleaf woodland, 10% mixed woodland, 10% open habitats and open space, 4% pasture woodland and 3% streamside habitats, mires and wetlands.
Following the management proposals within this plan, the composition will change to 24% predominantly conifer woodland, 30% predominantly broadleaf woodland, 15% mixed woodland, 16% open habitats and open space, 10% pasture woodland and 4% streamside habitats, mires and wetlands.