Tidenham and Wyeside Forest Plan

Tidenham and Wyeside Forest Plan

About

Nestled between the lower reaches River Wye to the West and mid-reaches of the River Severn Estuary to the East, this Plan covers the woodlands of Wyeside, Oakhill, East Wood, Ashwell Grove, The Park and Parsons Allotment  and are all within the Public Forest Estate of England with all of them enjoying Freehold status.

The woodlands fall just south of the Statutory Forest of Dean, with three quarters of the plan area falling within the Wye Valley AONB and form the scenic backdrop to the village of Tintern and its historic Cistercian Abbey.

The plan accounts for 525Ha of mixed coniferous and broadleaved woodland located solely within Gloucestershire and situated adjacent to the Welsh border 3½ miles north of Chepstow on the Tidenham Chase Plateau.

There are some 90Ha of Ancient Woodland within the plan area, with around a further 260Ha woodland considered as Plantation on Ancient Woodland (PAWs) that in line with current policy will be reverted over time back to a native condition, with around 30Ha being reverted by 2027.

The plan area is of high conservation interest too and enjoys the largest area of priority lowland heath habitat in Gloucestershire (that can be found at The Park) as well as rich and diverse species groups within the Ancient Semi-natural Woodland of Wyeside that contain Shorncliff and Caswell Wood SSSI, notified for their woodland type.  The woodlands contain numerous notable veteran trees, valuable components of native broadleaf coppice, and a diverse mixture of indigenous ground flora as well as sections of Limestone Pavement.  These habitats all support a wide range of flora and fauna including dormice, bats, lepidoptera, orchid and schedule one birds.

Objectives

The plan aims to protect and enhance existing habitats through sustainable management that is in context with the wider landscape and character whilst providing a sustainable flow of wood products to market throughout the plan duration

· Deliver well-designed forests in keeping with the local landscape character.

· To protect enhance and restore areas of ancient woodland in line with the ‘Keepers in time’ policy.

· Protect and enhance woodland and open habitats and their associated species.

· The protection and enhancement of veteran trees/trees of special interest (TSI) and recruitment of future generations of veteran trees/TSI.

· The continued production of sustainable and marketable woodland products.

· To conserve, maintain and enhance cultural and heritage assets.

· The management and restoration of statutorily designated areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest/ Special areas of Conservation/ Scheduled Ancient Monuments or key Wildlife areas.

What we'll do

The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over several decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2027. 

Crops will be managed for a mixture of objectives including timber production through the use of clearfelling and restocking supported with natural regeneration of native species.  Some areas will be managed using continuous cover forestry prescriptions so as to create a diverse and resilient forest structure for the future.

The plan makes provision for the removal of trees to enable an improved provision of open space habitats, especially in Parsons Allotment.  Continuation of coppicing will continue to increase diversity of habitat and quality of internal landscaping.

The planned areas of clearfelling, restocking and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2027 are summarised below.

Clearfelling of 30.5ha of conifers and 8.2ha of broadleaves. Restocking/Regeneration of 32.6ha of broadleaves and 6.1ha of open space.

In addition to these defined operations, ongoing thinning and selective felling of both conifers and broadleaves will be carried out in the plan area at five to ten year intervals.

The species composition will also change from 28% conifer, 62% broadleaf and 10% open space in 2017 to 22% conifer, 66% broadleaf and 12% open space in 2027.