Rendlesham and Tunstall Forest Plan

About:

The Rendlesham and Tunstall forest plan area totals 2,514 hectares (ha) of Forestry England land, which is part of Sandlings Forest, in the county of Suffolk. Public access is permitted on foot across the whole plan area. The main user groups include walkers, cyclists, sled dogs and horse riders.

Rendlesham and Tunstall forest are part of the Sandlings Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Sandlings Special Protection Area (SPA), designated for Woodlark and Nightjar. The site is notified for it’s coniferous woodland which supports these internationally important populations. The majority of the forest is managed through a cycle of clear felling and replanting operations, with large heathland areas also maintained. This management is essential in providing habitat for these ground nesting birds which rely on open ground such as heathland and areas left after tree felling.

There are significant areas of broadleaved woodland predominantly located in belts along forest boundaries, river valleys, small blocks across the woodland and natural reserves. These areas provide the greatest biodiversity and long term carbon storage. They are managed through low impact silvicultural systems to ensure minimum disturbance.

Heritage features associated with previous land use are found throughout the forest and there is a strong World War Two history across both woodlands. There are 8 Scheduled Monuments across the plan area of which all are bowl barrows.

Objectives:

Environment:

  • To protect and maintain designated sites and protected landscapes.
  • To protect and maintain priority habitats.
  • To protect and maintain priority species.
  • Maintain and improve cultural and heritage value of the land by protecting sensitive heritage features highlighted through the operational site assessment (OSA)* process.
  • Agree management plans for 8 scheduled monuments (SM) across Rendlesham and Tunstall, with Historic England (appendix 1).

 Community:

  • Create a pleasant natural environment for the public to enjoy outdoor recreation in a rural woodland setting.
  • Where appropriate, manage areas around campsites and recreational infrastructure through lower impact silvicultural systems* for amenity value.
  • Maintain recreational facilities to a high standard through inspection processes and partnership working with volunteer groups and other stakeholders.

Forest resilience

  • Maintain the land within our stewardship under FSC®/PEFC certification by meeting standards detailed in UKWAS fourth edition.
  • Increase forest resilience to threats posed by climate change, pests, diseases and fire.

Finance:

  • Improve economic resilience of our forests by increasing species diversity through restock programmes and mixed silvicultural practices, to protect future timber supplies and biomass.
  • The felling plan should aim to smooth production from crops in cyclic clearfell but also meet market commitments.

What we’ll do:

The Rendlesham and Tunstall forest plan outlines management proposals including felling and restock for a period of 74 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2032.

For further information regarding species composition and the future management of Rendlesham and Tunstall, please refer to the full plan below.