Wass and Pry Rigg Forest Plan

Wass and Pry Rigg Forest Plan


Wass and Pry Rigg forest cover an area of 663.4 hectares of mixed coniferous and broadleaved woodland and are situated at the southwest corner of the North York Moors National Park.

The block dates to the 1920s at College Moor and Pry Rigg, followed by further plantings in the 1950s on Wass Moor and is surrounded by arable farmland on the plateau, with some woodlands on valley sites. 


The overall long-term vision is for its continued contribution as a productive forest. Felling will generally move away from clear felling towards Lower Impact Silvicultural Systems (LISS).


  • 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 and FE systems.
  • maintain the ecological, cultural and heritage value of these woods, to be measured by Historic England, NYMNP Authority and FC systems accordingly.
    • PAWS restoration continues through felling and thinning programmes.
    • As part of the York beat, Wass Moor and Pry Rigg provide an important contribution to the Districts PAWS restoration process with 152.19 ha (23% by area) designated as ancient woodland status. The block sits entirely within the North York Moors National Park. 
  • where practicable, manage stands through LISS regeneration felling, utilising natural regeneration and enrichment planting, particularly across areas of PAWS, whilst targeting the retention of high-value conifer crops.


  • all of our forests and woodlands are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council®(FSC®) licence code FSC-C123214 and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) licence code PEFC/16-40-1001 standards. We will maintain the land within our stewardship certified against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, as independently assessed by annual independent surveillance audits.
  • maximise and maintain a sustainable supply of timber from a diverse range of site-appropriate conifer and broadleaf species, to be measured by FE systems.
  • with 90% of the plantable area supporting productive high forest, Wass Moor and Pry Rigg remains an important block for its contribution to the district’s timber producing capacity, particularly hardwoods. 
  • continue the reduction of larch as a component within mixed stands, consider strip and group felling in pure stands.
  • increase rhododendron control especially within or adjacent to larch crops.


  • maintain the woodlands contribution to the landscape character NYMNPA Southern Hambleton character area.
  • clearfell areas will be designed so that their size and scale are in keeping with the surrounding landscape. To be measured by fixed-point photography.

What we will do

Wass and Pry Rigg Forest Plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking for 10 years from 2023 to 2033.

The planned areas of conifer, broadleaf and other habitats during the ten years to 2033 are summarised in the table below.

Habitat type (based on principle species planted)Area – hectares% of total area  
*Broadleaved; mixed/yew woodlands.151.9





Coniferous woodlands491.1





Upland heathland8.2710.1111.5  

*Including lowland mixed deciduous woodland, upland birchwoods, upland mixed ashwoods, upland oakwood

In addition to these defined operations, selective thinning and strip felling will be carried out.

We will protect and, where appropriate, enhance all known sites of 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.

Area managed through LISS 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 where natural regeneration of suitable species will be the preferred method of establishment.

FellingArea - hectares


% of total area

(excl. SSSI)

Projected volume (m3)
2023 – 2026 Clearfell17.56ha2.647024m2
2027 – 2031 Clearfell11.68ha1.764672m2
2032 – 2033 Clearfell9.61ha1.443844m2
LISS regeneration felling*70.41ha10.6128164m2