Long Mynd Forest Plan

Closed 19 Feb 2023

Opened 9 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 27 Feb 2023

We asked

The external consultation for the Long Mynd Forest Plan was open for six weeks in January / February 2023. Posters were put up at six points where public rights of way enter the forest, directing people to an online survey. In addition, emails were sent specifically to organisations and groups who we felt have an interest in how the site is managed eg parish councils, the Commoners Association and the local mountain biking shop.

You said

Six of the 19 respondents to the survey describe themselves as neighbours / forest users. Seven responses were received from members of the Long Mynd and District Bridleways Association. The other respondents were Historic England, Shropshire Council's Historic Environment Team, Natural England, the National Trust and the Shopshire Hills AONB.

We did

Feedback from forest users was generally positive:

  • “Looks well thought through to me – good balance of objectives”
  • “Thank you for this amazing forest”

although there was disappointment that the plan does not say much about mountain biking.

Forestry England comment:

  • Our Forest Plans don’t directly address recreation – they are about land management for long-term forest protection and resilience. We will make sure that the scope of Forest Plans is explained more clearly within the plan itself in future.

One respondent was concerned about litter and asked what we can do to prevent it.

Forestry England comment:

  • We don’t see too much litter at Long Mynd and are reluctant to put up posters which can detract from the sense of remoteness that makes this forest so special. Unfortunately, we just have to rely on forest users being respectful and taking their litter home.

And someone else asked us to “stop cutting down trees”.

Forestry England comment:

  • Cutting down trees is part of the cycle of sustainable forest management at Long Mynd. We plant them, look after them, and then cut them down to provide timber. It can look quite dramatic when an area has been cleared of trees, but the next stage is to restock and begin to grow the next generation of trees. For more information, please have a look at our website www.forestryengland.uk.


The responses from the Long Mynd and District Bridleways Association expressed their concerns that they hadn’t been consulted directly and therefore had not had time to formulate a response.

Forestry England comment:

  • We thought that we had contacted all the relevant local groups and apologise for omitting the Bridleways Association. If you would like to discuss the plan, please feel free to email us.


Historic England and the Shropshire Council Historic Environment Team were pleased to see the inclusion of a scheduled monument plan for the bronze age bowl barrow, but pointed out that unscheduled historic features should be protected too.

Forestry England comment:

  • We mark all historic features that we are aware of on our maps so that they are protected during forest operations. This should’ve been stated in the plan and has now been added to the final version.


Natural England, the National Trust and the Shropshire Hills AONB recognise the challenge of balancing competing land uses – timber production, recreation, biodiversity – and appreciate that our Forest Plan places the creation of dynamic habitat high up on our agenda.

However, they would have liked us to create a greater amount of dynamic habitat to act as a buffer between the forest and the neighbouring heathland SSSI, and would like us to move away from a forest dominated by conifers managed by clearfelling, towards greater habitat diversity and variety of management systems, in order to protect soils and watercourses.

Forestry England comments:

  • We need to write a plan that is realistic and achievable. In addition to the creation of 1.89ha of new dynamic habitat, we will (in the next few years) be restoring an area (2.49ha) on the western side of the site which was open and has become dominated by trees – this will add to the dynamic habitat, as will the 10% of ‘unstocked’ space that is recommended in all of our planting areas.
  • We are, of course, aware of the importance of the neighbouring SSSI, which is why we have committed to further extending the buffer on the western edges of the forest over the coming decades.
  • We have recently restocked the area in the northern part of the site with conifers, but with a broadleaf strip along the edge of the streams / SSSI.
  • Sustainable forest management is a long-term business – we cannot transform conifer forest to broadleaf / open / heathland overnight, but as trees reach economic maturity, we will fell them and look at each area individually to ensure that what replaces them delivers for timber production, jobs, carbon sequestration, biodiversity and people.
  • With regard to how forests impact on streams and soils, Forestry England is UKWAS certified and we manage all operations to UKWAS and UKFS best practice. Each operation goes through a site planning process before it is approved, meaning that the constraints and opportunities for each individual location are considered carefully.
  • In the past, Long Mynd has been managed predominantly as no-thin conifer plantation. In future, we are moving towards thinning many more of the stands on the site, which will create a more open forest structure, possibly generating opportunities for alternatives to clearfell in the future, once we see how the thinned stands respond to wind and storms.

Forestry England – westenglandplanning@forestryengland.uk

February 2023


The Forest Plan for Forestry England's land on the Long Mynd, is due for renewal.

Forest Plans define our long-term vision for a woodland or a collection of woodlands, and set out how our management will move towards achieving this vision over the next ten years.

We would like to invite you or your organisation to leave some feedback on our proposed revision to the Forest Plan, which is available to download below in PDF format.


Why your views matter

As part of the forest planning process, we carry out consultation with internal and external stakeholders, to ensure that the objectives of the plan are balanced appropriately, and to meet the requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, through which our woodlands are accredited.

This online consultation will be available until Sunday 19th February 2023.

We will summarise the feedback and our responses by the end of March in the 'We asked, You said, We did' area. Your comments will be anonymous - you can choose to leave your name, but we won't include it in our summary.


What happens next

Once this online stakeholder engagement has closed, we will examine the feedback and where appropriate, will incorporate suggestions into the Forest Plan. We will summarise the feedback on the 'We asked, You said, We did' page.

We will then submit the Forest Plan to the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission for approval.


  • Local community member
  • Forest visitor
  • Forestry Commission agent / contractor / partner
  • Government department / agency or unitary authority
  • Non-Governmental Organisation / charity


  • Forest design plans