Oakamoor Forest Plan
The Oakamoor Forest Plan comprises of 9 separate woodlands (Oakamoor, Bradley, Carr, Dimmingsdale, Heathy Gore, Jackson's Wood, Key Wood and Ruelow) that lie along the Churnet Valley in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The total design plan area covers 369 hectares of which 20% Ancient Woodland, 55% Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWs) and 25% is classified as Secondary woodland (new woodland).
The woodlands forms an important part of the local landscape character and are typical of the steep woodland valleys found in the Staffordshire Moorlands. There are two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (Dimmingsdale and Ranger) which contain a wide variety of flora and fauna including bog moss, 2 nationally scarce species of liverworts (Calypogeia integristipula & Lophozia longiflora) and over sixty two species of true flies including the rare picturewinged fly (lusiodes geomyzina).
The Ancient Woodlands which is scattered throughout the design plan area and the network of water courses provide valuable wildlife corridors through the mature conifer stands and into the wider countryside.
The main objectives for the Oakamoor Forest Plan are:
• Continue production of commercial conifers and broadleaves.
• Introduce a mixture of continuous cover management systems.
• Utilize natural regeneration to help diversify future stand structure and species diversity
• Make the economic potential of the forest more resilient in the face of a changing climate, pests and diseases.
• Maintain existing provision for informal recreation.
• Restore PAWs site back to broadleaf woodland.
• Link and expand remaining Ancient Woodland Sites.
• Retain in perpetuity the Trees of Special Interest and increase the deadwood resources throughout the FP area.
What we'll do
The plan details approved management operations including felling and restocking for the ten years to 2021, with outline proposals for a 50 year period.
The current threat to the primary conifer species in Oakamoor FP woodlands will influence the timing and scale of felling operations. To ensure the continuity of high forest some of the healthy conifer stands will be retained beyond their economic felling age and many of the broadleaved stands will be managed through selective felling rather than clearfell systems.
The planned areas of clearfelling, restocking and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2021 are summarised below.
Felling of 99ha of conifers. Planting of 9ha of broadleaves. Natural regeneration of 86ha of broadleaves. Creation of 4ha of 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 change from 33% broadleaves, 63% conifers and 4% open space in 2011 to 58% broadleaves, 34% conifers and 8% open space in 2036.