Herodsfoot Forest Plan

Herodsfoot Forest Plan

About

The Herodsfoot Forest Plan area is made up of a series of forest blocks totalling 294 hectares in Cornwall. As forest blocks set within the intimate wooded valley landscape they have very high natural and landscape diversity and value.

The forests managed as part of the public forest estate principally comprise of Cannakey (97ha), Tremadart (61ha), Hartswell (53ha) and Carglonnon (29ha) woods around the village of Herodsfoot.

The public forest here is a predominantly conifer on ancient woodland (PAWS) having been planted to address the national timber shortage of the early Twentieth Century. The area is known to produce high quality Douglas fir which makes up the majority of the trees here supplemented by hemlock and spruce with larch having been removed due to disease in 2010/2011. Areas of remnant ancient semi-natural woodland do remain and are made up of oak and birch with beech. Most of the areas are actively managed to provide timber for local and national businesses, and to improve the quality of the remaining tree crop.

The Plan area is a rich for ecology and includes NVC W10 Priority Lowland Mixed Deciduous (oak/birch) Woodland which is habitat in part for dormice, raptor and otter.

Large areas are made up of the Plan area are Open Access with a number of Rights of Way also traversing the forest. There is an 11ha Forest Holidays site situated in Canakey Wood, referred to as Deer Park and contains 47 cabins, therefore Canakey has a greater focus on recreation provision with a number of waymarked trails in place. The majority of other recreation usage is made up of walkers with some limited amount of usage by horse riders and mountain bike riders.

Objectives

The core aim of the plan is to produce woodlands with increased conservation and landscape benefits whilst maintaining a viable timber output. The long term aims of management here are to continue the process of restoring Ancient Woodland while increasing resilience to climate, pest and disease risks, and to develop the forest for people. The social, economic and environmental objectives of management here are to:

-The continued production of sustainable and marketable woodland products.

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

-The provision and maintenance of recreation facilities.

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

-To protect enhance and restore areas of ancient woodland in line with the 2005 ‘Keepers of Time’ policy.

-The delivery of well-designed proposals in keeping with the local landscape character.

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. 

Areas identified as PAWS will be managed as mixed woodland to maximise their productive potential, with the aim of a gradual return to native woodland.

The Plan makes provision to ensure proposals are in keeping with the neighbouring intimate wooded landscape.

Implementation and maintenance of an environmental corridor system will continue to increase diversity of habitat and internal landscaping.

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

Clearfelling of 6.35ha conifers and 3.43ha broadleaves. Restocking/regeneration of 6.35ha (+20.31ha) broadleaves. 

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 52% conifer, 33% broadleaf and 15% open space in 2017 to 47% conifer, 45% broadleaf and 8% open space in 2027.