Forestry Commission Consultation Hub

The Forestry Commission is at the heart of the progress being made in protecting, improving and expanding our woodlands and forests, and enhancing local communities and economy.

Here you will find the latest topics that the Forestry Commission is seeking views on - have your say!

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

Members of the public and stakeholders were invited to the consultation of the draft proposals for the Bernwood Forest Plan 2019-2029, to leave feedback to ensure that the plans objectives and proposals were considered and balanced. This was carried out via emails and notices displayed in the freehold woodlands in the plan area.

You Said

There were very few responses to the consultation but primarily there was good support for the proposals with the majority agreeing that the plan achieves an appropriate balance of social, economic and environmental objectives for the woodland. The main concerns raised include the following:

-  Limited heritage data shown on the maps and a request to carry out further surveys of archaeological features and share this data with HER was made.

-  Why a reduction of 25% of core habitat for black & brown hairstreaks is considered acceptable in the SSSI management objectives table and does this mean that no more than 25% will be managed.

-  The text related to the production forecast should be changed to ensure this shows a per annum figure as this currently implies the volume is the forecast over a 5 year period.

We Did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the forest plan where necessary.

The request to carry out further surveys of archaeological features has been passed to the beat team and the East District FE Historic Environment Advisor to assess the practicalities of this. It should be noted that the plan does state archaeology is assessed as part of the OSA process before any work commences, and the county archaeologists would be consulted at this stage. A guidebook of protecting heritage features is also provided to staff to increase their understanding of heritage features.

The concern relating to the reduction of 25% of core habitat for the black & brown hairstreaks was raised with the East District Ecologist. This statement was taken from the favourable condition tables written for the woodland by Natural England which follow national guidelines. Although the aim is to maintain and improve habitat it is recognised that this may not always be possible to achieve and 25% is considered a reasonable reduction, and this does not mean only 25% will be managed. The ride and scrub management maps within the plan appendices show there is no intention of reducing ride management. Favourable condition table assessments are carried out by Natural England and these currently show that all units are either in favourable or unfavourable-recovering condition, showing gradual improvements are being made. Areas in unfavourable-recovering condition are those which still contain conifer which as the plan shows will be removed overtime either through clear fell or thinning operations.

We Asked

We asked people to leave some feedback on the newly drafted Forest Plan that saw three Plans being amalgamated to cover Kinsley, Bucknell, Bucknell Wood, Bedstone Hill, Hopton, Well Wood and Purslow.

This forms part of our consultation with stakeholders, that helps to ensure that we achieve an appropriate balance of objectives.

You Said

Overall there was positive support for proposals within the new Forest Plan.  There was concern over horseriding and cycling, and the adequate provision of facilities for horse riding.

Interest in the ecology of the forests and proposals also featured highly.

We Did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the Forest Plan where necessary prior to sumission to Forest Services (FS) for approval.  Concerns over recreational provisons along with ecological interest were fed to the Recreation team and Operational Managers for their consideration.

25/01/19 forest Plan has now been submitted for approval to forest Services.

We Asked

Members of the public and stakeholders were invited to the consultation of the draft proposals for the North Norfolk Forest Plan 2018-2028, to leave feedback to ensure that the plans objectives and proposals were considered and balanced. This was carried out via letters, emails and notices displayed in freehold woodlands across the plan area.

You Said

Primarily there was good support for the proposals with the majority of you agreeing that the plan achieves an appropriate balance of social, economic and environmental objectives for the woodland. Common features raised included requests to increase open space, more detailed information on specific management of conservation plans and concerns over the minerals plan for Bintree forest.

We Did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the forest plan where necessary. Suggestions made to increase open space in Marsham, Horsford and Edgefield could not be implemented as permanent open space identified across the plan area is currently in poor condition. This will be addressed within a conservation plan to follow but at this stage it would be impractical to commit to increasing open space until what we have is managed appropriately. The conservation plan will contain more detailed information about specific management of conservation areas for use at the operational level. The plan shows Bintree forest will used for forestry purposes in the immediate future. However, concerns raised regarding the minerals plan for Bintree have been passed to the estates department to retain on file. The plan will now be submitted to Forest Services (FS) for approval. It is hoped this process will be completed by September 2018 and that the approved plan will be displayed on the East England Forest plans pages by October 2018.