Stapleford Forest Plan
Stapleford Forest Plan lies on the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire border and comprises of two woodlands know as Stapleford Wood (303ha) and Stapleford Moor (131ha). The woodlands lie 4 miles to the north-east of Newark-On-Trent, and are the largest forested area in a strongly rural and predominantly arable landscape centred around the river Trent.
Stapleford Wood and Stapleford Moor are freehold woodlands, providing significant informal pedestrian access, some cycling and horse riding and occasional organized recreational use. Stapleford Wood and part of Stapleford Moor have been dedicated as open access land under the Countryside and Right of Way Act 2000 (CROW) giving the public access on foot throughout the dedicated area. Stapleford wood has a small car park and a walking trail that is popular with local visitors. The Sporting has been let to a third party in Stapleford Moor.
The long-term objective for Stapleford Wood is to gradually revert the 255ha of Plantation on Ancient Woodland sites (PAWs) back to a predominantly broadleaf woodland. Conifers (Corsican pine) currently dominate the woodlands. This will be phased in over the next 35 years to ensure there is no sudden loss of woodland cover in this arable landscape. The secondary woodland in both Stapleford Moor and Stapleford Wood will remain as a predominantly coniferous woodland.
Our aim is to create a more diverse and resilient woodland, with a greater range of species and habitats. The objectives of management here are:
- Initiate a structured and sustainable programme of felling and thinning operations to produce commercial timber, maintain infrastructure requirements (roads and main drains), support local contractors and businesses.
- Ensure stands are more structurally and species diverse, making them more resilient to the impacts from climate change, pests and disease.
- Restore PAWS to mixed woodland dominated by native and honorary native species.
- Improve Ancient Woodland Sites (AWS) by the gradual removal of exotic species. Introduce a wide distribution of native species that will be better suited to the impacts of future climates.
- Incorporate management techniques that minimise the future impact and spread of Rhododendron.
- Recruit future veteran trees and increase the volume and distribution of deadwood.
- Recognise our objective of providing an overall cost neutral access programme across the district.
- Diversify species composition and structure, and plan sympathetically designed and appropriate scaled interventions to improve and maintain the visual integration of the forest for visitors.
- Reduce the potential for Fly-Tipping & Antisocial Behaviour throughout the FP area
What we'll do
Exotic conifers and non-native broadleaves will continue to be removed from PAWS and AWS offering timber to markets across the region. Low Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS) will be used in AWS areas to help protect the soil, flora and fauna. The promoted trail from the car park in Stapleford Wood will be maintained and informal access on foot throughout the dedicated CROW land will continue.
The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and regeneration/planting over the next 50 years, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2031.
Over the next 10 years approval has been granted to clearfell 74.7 ha of conifers which will be restocked with 34.2ha of conifers and 40.5ha of broadleaf trees. In addition, 143 ha will be managed using LISS where single and small groups of trees will be removed, with no more than 40% of the stems being harvested within any single management unit/compartment over the 10-year approval period. Thinning operations will also take place on a 5-year cycle in conifers and 10-year cycle in broadleaves. These operations are designed to provide sufficient light to boost growth of understorey and ground flora, allow adequate space for the development of crowns, increase the diameter of logs and accelerate individual tree growth.
A more detailed outline of the forest structure and planned operations can be seen in the Forest Plan document.