Salcey and Yardley Chase forest plan

Salcey and Yardley Chase forest plan


The Salcey and Yardley Chase Forest Plan sets out the long term management objectives for Salcey Forest and eight outlying woodlands collectively known as Yardley Chase Woods. The forest plan area covers 1,069 hectares and is dominated by oak woodland which dates back to William the Conqueror in the 11th century. 

 The overarching management objectives for the forest plan are to continue to balance conservation aims with marketable and sustainable timber production. This will be achieved using traditional and/or continuous cover silviculture systems that regenerate native woodland through natural processes, where possible, whilst retaining and recruiting over mature trees and deadwood.  Forestry England will continue to support local businesses and contractors involved in the forest, recreation and leisure industries of which these woodlands play an important role.  The restoration of ancient woodlands will continue with the gradual removal of exotic species and the establishment of a wider range of broadleaf species that will be better suited to the impacts of climate change, pests and diseases. 

The woodlands contain many historical and cultural features associated to past land uses with the earliest features dating back to 800 BC (for example the Saxon Mound). Salcey Forest itself is the largest ancient woodland in Northamptonshire and is of particular importance for plants and animals. Deadwood is an important habitat within the design plan area supporting its own unique range of flora and fauna which contributes to an estimated 1/5th of all the species found in the woodlands.   



  • continue to grow and market commercial timber using a variety of silvicultural systems. 
  • ensure stands are more structurally and species diverse making them more resilient to the impacts from climate change, pests and disease.
  • eupport local business and ensure felling operations are sustainable and planned at a scale that is sympathetic to the local businesses who are reliant on the forest to attract visitors.
  • maintain the land within our stewardship under UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS) certification by meeting standards detailed in UKWAS third edition.


  • restore AWS by the gradual reduction of exotic species and establish a wide distribution of deciduous species that will be better suited to the impacts of climate change, pests and disease.

  • ronserve features of cultural significance found throughout the woodland for generations to come.
  • continue to maintain the SSSI in favourable condition and carry out works in accordance with the agreed management plan approved by Natural England.
  • management operations will be planned to take into account the habitat requirements of European Protected Species found in the woodlands.
  • identify existing locations of TSI and demonstrate appropriate management to recruit future veteran trees and increase the volume and distribution of deadwood.


  • diversify species composition and structure, and plan sympathetically designed and appropriately scaled interventions to improve and maintain the visual integration of the forest boundaries.
  • continue to develop and run a programme of events and activities at Salcey Forest based around education and learning, to help visitors’ health and wellbeing.
  • promote the Active Forests Programme aimed at creating a sporting habit for life for visitors through communication, partnership and engagement.
  • conserve features of cultural significance including earthworks and World War II features found throughout the woodland for generations to come.

What we'll do

The Salcey and Yardley Chase Forest Plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for a period of 50 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2033.

The areas of clearfelling, restocking and open space creation planned for the 10 years to 2033 are summarised below.




Clear Fell






All above figures refer to the gross area to be felled and excludes thinning* operations

In addition to the above felling 809.9ha will be managed using Low Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS)*.

For further information regarding the future management of Salcey and Yardley Chase Forest Plan woodlands, please refer to the full plan below.