Rendlesham and Tunstall Forest Plan 2021-2031

Closed 26 Oct 2021

Opened 27 Sep 2021

Feedback updated 3 Jan 2022

We asked

The external consultation for Rendlesham and Tunstall was open for 30 days from 26th September 2021-26th October 2021. The public were directed to an online consultation via posters put up across both woodlands, letters posted through the doors of forest residents and social media posts. We directly emailed 35 stakeholders including parish councils to inform them of the consultation. 

The consultation also provided contact details for further queries to be made.

You said

There were 117 responses to the consultation with 98 of those being through the online questionnaire. Overall, the plan was met favourably, with 66% classing it as well or very well addressing their needs.The majority of respondees also felt the plan acheived a balance of social, economic and environmental objectives. The primary interests of the respondants focused on biodiversity and woodland ecology, forest protection and climate change.

The key concerns raised included the following:

  • The main silvicultural management system for the plan area will be through clear fell operations and some belived this meant large areas of woodland would be removed and replaced with heathland.
  • Felling trees reduces carbon sequestration contributing to climate change. Planting more trees was favoured over removal, but where trees are removed consideration for more sensitive management methods was requested.
  • Unclear as to when coupes will be restocked following felling operations.
  • Dominance of conifer as a species in the woodland. Requests to remove conifer and plant more broadleaf were recieved. 
  • Consultation period is too short, questions are ambiguous and face to face meetings should be carried out.
  • Improvement and development of recreation facilities is needed but not covered in the plan. Particular reference to cycle trails, walking trails and play equipment was made. Also requests for better horse box parking facilities in Tunstall.

We did

The responses have been considered and factored into the plan where possible. The key concerns raised above have been addressed in the following way:

  • The plan does not propose to clear fell large areas of woodland and replace it with heathland. The plan area totals 2,514ha and shows over the 10 year approval period that 148ha of conifer woodland will be felled, 64ha in Tunstall and 84ha in Rendlesham. The majority of these areas will be fully restocked after 2 years as detailed in the felling and restock maps within the plan.
  • Further information has been added to the plan on the forest resilience page to explain how using renewable resources such as timber can continue to sequester carbon and help tackle climate change.
  • The plan does state felled areas will be restocked after 2 years but this was previously only in the monioritng table of the plan. This information has now been added on an additional page within the main text.
  • The plan states the use of conifer as a species and clear felling is determined by the SSSI and SPA designation of both woodlands for the Woodlark and Nightjar. However, further information on the importance of conifer in productive forestry has been added to the finance section of the plan.
  • The online consultation followed national policy and provided a 30 day period for comments to be made. A few respondees had strong views the questions were ambiguous. These concerns have been raised with the national team who have contacted all other districts to determine whether this has been raised in any other forest plan consultations across the country. It concluded no other consultation raised these concerns. However, the national team will review the questions used and consider changes.
  • There are 319 parish councils across the East Forest District making face to face meetings impractical. However, due to a number of concerns raised a face to face meeting was held in Tunstall on 6th December 2021, providing the community with the chance to ask questions.
  • Recreation improvements/developments are outside the scope of the forest plan but the comments recieved will be passed to the recreation team for consideration.

This plan has now been sent to Forest Services, the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission, for further consultation before approval. Parish Councils will be informed once the plan is on the public register for comment.

Overview

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

We would like to invite feedback on the proposed Rendlesham and Tunstall forest plan. 

This online questionnaire forms part of a consultation with stakeholders that helps to ensure that we achieve an appropriate balance of objectives.

Why your views matter

It is a requirement that all Forestry England woodlands are managed to the high standards needed to meet the UK Woodland Assurance Standard that in turn ensures sustainable forest management certification of the Public Forest Estate is maintained.

The forest plan is available to download as a PDF below or alternatively viewable online within the Survey. There is also a hard copy which can be viewed at the Forestry England office in Rendlesham.

The online consultation will run until the 26th October 2021. Any comments should be submitted through the online survey form before the closing date. Feedback received after the closing date can not be considered.

What happens next

This online Stakeholder Consultation closes on the 26th October 2021. We will then examine the feedback and where possible, incorporate suggestions into the forest plan.

The forest plan will be submitted to Forest Services, the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission, and placed on the public register to run concurrently with the public consultation. Subject to feedback approval will be obtained from Forest Services.

The approved plan will be made available on Forestry Englands website at www.forestryengland.uk

Audiences

  • Landowner / manager
  • Local community member
  • Forestry Commission staff
  • Forest visitor
  • Forestry Commission agent / contractor / partner
  • Government department / agency or unitary authority
  • Non-Governmental Organisation / charity
  • Sports group
  • Commercial business
  • Wildlife management
  • Travel and tourism
  • Wood processor - including timber and woodfuel production
  • Media
  • Woodland group
  • Education and academia
  • East England

Interests

  • Woodland management
  • Forest design plans