Silton Forest Plan

About

Silton is an area of 461.9 hectares of primarily coniferous woodland with some broadleaf coverage. It is situated adjacent Over Silton village on the western fringe of the North York Moors National Park. The forest is a mixture of freehold and leasehold land, the majority of which was planted in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The forest is situated in the ‘Western Fringe’ landscape character areaon the western boundary of the North York Moors National Park.

At the start of the previous plan, in 2004, the forest was largely more coniferous than it is now. Consequently the increase in species and structural diversity is having a positive impact on the forests contribution across the landscape. The forest is also popular with visitors who use it frequently for recreational walking and dog walking, as well as horse riders making regular use of the bridleways.  

Objectives

The long term vision for Silton Forest is to develop a mosaic of habitats adjacent the moorland boundary, maintain the cultural and natural heritage sites, consider the selection for alternative main tree species to boost resilience and diversity of the forest.

Environmental

  • Maintain and improve the ecological and heritage value of these woods, to be measured by Non-Government Organisations and FC systems accordingly.
  • Improve the resilience of the natural environment and realise the potential of these woods for nature and wildlife, to be measured by FC systems accordingly.

Social

  • Encourage communities to become involved across these woods, its management and direction through consultation in planning and participation in volunteering.
  • Maintain and improve the forests contribution to the surrounding landscape character by increasing species and structural diversity, to be measured by external and internal fixed-point photography.

Economy

  • Maintain the land within our stewardship under UKWAS certification, to be measured by independent surveillance audits.
  • Improve the economic resilience of these woods from a more diverse range of site appropriate conifer and broadleaf species, to be measured by the Production Forecast and Sales Recording Package.

What we’ll do

The Silton Forest Plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for 10 years from 2018 to 2027.

The planned areas of conifer, broadleaf and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2027 are summarised in the table below.

Habitat type -

(based on principal species established)

Area – hectares

 

  

% age of total area

 

 

Conifer

290.48

63

Broadleaf

 87.63

19

Temporal and permanent open space

 83.79

18

In addition to these defined operations, selective thinning and group felling will be carried out on a small scale at five and ten year periods.

We will protect and, where appropriate, enhance all known sites of archaeological and ecological importance and all sites, regardless of their designation, will receive the same level of care during the planning and execution of forest operations. The operation planning system will ensure they are recognised and the proper measures for their protection are in place before work begins.

The areas of small group felling carried out as part of the CCF silvicultural systems will be replanted to diversify species and age structure and to continue to provide a sustainable timber resource, whilst mindful of the projected impacts of climate change.

The development of future areas of broadleaf woodland will look to create a robust network of habitats linking conifer and broadleaf woodland with internal and external heath communities and riparian corridors. Natural regeneration will be the preferred method of establishment with the expectation that birch and willow species predominate.

This table illustrates how the plan will progress:

Felling

Area - hectares

% of total area

Projected volume (m3)

2017 – 2021 Clearfell

21

5

7825

2022 – 2026 Clearfell

7

2

3265

Continuous Cover

 3

1

1050