Sneaton Forest Plan
Sneaton Forest Plan is currently under consultation
Sneaton Forest is part of a network of forests managed by Forestry England (FE), Yorkshire Forest District, located within the North Riding Beat. It is situated approximately 7 km south of Whitby on the eastern fringe of the North York Moors National Park.
Species composition has changed little since the previous plan was approved although the age structure of the coniferous part of the forest has increased significantly as part of the ongoing restructuring process. Significant areas of clearfelling have been carried out, particularly adjacent the designated moorland, creating a more irregular boundary as viewed from the west of the property supporting a positive contribution to the overall landscape.
The main objectives of the plan are;
- Maintain and improve the woodlands contribution to the landscape character within the North York Moors National Park ‘Forest – Newton House and Central Valley – Lower Esk Valley character areas’. To be measured by fixed-point photography.
- Work with and provide volunteering opportunities that derive benefits to both the participants and the woodland. To be measured through FC systems.
- Improve the resilience of the natural environment to pests, diseases and wildfires and realise the potential of these woods for nature and wildlife, to be measured by Natural England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems.
- Expand, improve and maintain the cultural and ecological heritage value of these woods, to be measured by Historic England, Natural England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems.
- 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 FC systems accordingly.
What we will do
The plan details management operations including approved felling and restocking for the 10 years through until 2030, with outline proposals for a 30 year period.
Appropriate scale felling across the coniferous parts of the forest will continue the process of restructuring, moving away from even-aged, single species stands to a more mixed conifer/broadleaf woodland. Targeted upland edge softening will focus where riparian corridors can link with the adjacent SSSI/SPA/SAC along the southern and western boundary.
A significant area of previously unplanted land has been identified at the confluence of May Beck and Blea Hill Beck. Creating an area of new native woodland at this point will help extend native woodland along the broadleaf-dominant valley systems toward the coniferised plateaux.
Ancient woodland sites planned for conversion to broadleaf woodland will be used to describe those areas where a range of species will be regenerated and will comprise at least 80% native broadleaf species of the woodland component mix. A small proportion of conifer species will be accepted where this does not compromise meeting the plan objectives.
The planned areas of clearfelling, regeneration felling and restocking during the ten years to 2030 are summarised in the table.
|Lower Impact Silvicultural Systems regeneration felling||27.0|
The current proportions of conifer, broadleaf and open space habitat and projected in 30 years’ time as shown below.
|Habitat type - (based on principal species established)|
Area – hectares
Area – hectares
% age of total area
% age of total area
|Open inc. agriculture, felled, wooded heath, riparian corridors etc||91.6||108.3||10||12|
|Upland heathland SSSI/SAC/SPA||235.0||235.0||26||26|