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Shouldham and Bilney Forest Plan

About

The Shouldham & West Bilney forest plan covers 480 hectares of land in the county of Norfolk. These two discrete woodlands occupy prominent positions either side of the River Nar valley, within the Kings Lynn and West Norfolk district. They are a mile apart so are visually connected in the landscape, and can be accesssed by crossing the river footbridge, but they are at least 8 miles apart by road. West Bilney is held as freehold and is open access land. Shouldham is leasehold land on which permissive access is granted by the landowner. 

The woods are an attractive mixture of productive conifer plantation and broadleaf woodland, and offer well-used opportunities to access the countryside in an otherwise intensively farmed landscape. They offer a range of habitats as the land they occupy includes the extremes of local conditions - high sandy hilltops and low peaty wetland, with several maintained drainage board channels as well as disused ditches.

There is a significant amount of heritage present in the woodland including warren boundaries, earthworks and brick work from the WW2 rifle range. A flint "anvil-stone" shows prehistoric activity. Crop marks and finds indicate bronze age habitation and there are also Iron Age smelting pits at East Winch. 

A PDF of the full forest plan can be found in the related documents section on this page.

Objectives

Social

•Encourage communities to become involved in the forests and woodlands, their management, and direction.

•Enable everyone, everywhere to connect with the nations’ trees and forests so that they understand their importance and act positively to safeguard forests for the future.

Economic

•Maintain the land within our stewardship under UKWAS certification.

•Improve the economic resilience of our woods and forests.

Environmental

•Improve the resilience of the natural environment of our forests.

•Realise the potential of our forests and land for nature and wildlife.

•Maintain and improve the cultural and heritage value of the land.

What we'll do

The Shouldham & West Bilney forest plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for a period of 70 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2026.

The areas of clearfelling, restocking and open space creation planned for the 10 years to 2027 are summarised below.

Clearfelling of 66ha conifers. Restocking of 68ha conifers. Selective felling of 166ha of conifers and broadleaves.