We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

Members of the public were asked to comment on the proposal of a new wildflower meadow at Pages Wood. This consultation was shared on multiple Facebook pages and local Facebook groups, and notices were displayed on site at Pages Wood.

You said

There were 332 responses to the survey: 89% within 20 minutes travelling distance from Pages Wood (with the majority of people walking or cycling to the site). We have considered everyone's comments and nearly all the responses were very positive for more wildflowers at Pages Wood. We also took this opportunity to ask for feedback on the facilities at Pages Wood, all of which were voted ‘OK’ by the majority of respondents, except the sculptures and woodland trails which were voted as ‘good’ by the majority of respondents. 

We did

Following the overwhelmingly positive response to the wildflower meadow at Pages Wood, Forestry England will proceed with plans and the necessary surveys to carry this out. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this survey.

We asked

Members of the public and stakeholders were invited to the consultation of the draft proposals for the High Stand Forest Plan 2021-2031, 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 forest. 

You said

There were a handful of responses to the consultation from members of the public, with most supporting the forest management objectives. The main points and concerns raised include the following:

  • Continued focus on High Stand as a wildlife habitat
  • Continued focus on quiet community use is welcomed
  • More to be done to reduce antisocial behaviour around car park

We did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the Forest Plan where necessary.

High Stand is valued by the local community for its relatively low visitor numbers and quiet community feel, this is something this Forest Plan aims to continue with no objectives to increase visitor numbers. Many members of public identified the wide range of species who call High Stand home and recognise the role the forest plays in providing these habitats. This Forest Plan seeks to continue the management principles which have allowed these habitats to flourish in the past, including management of trackside verges for butterflies and moths. This has been made a clear in the Forest Plan following feedback.

Forest Plans primarily focus on woodland management. The proposals to address antisocial behaviour in the High Stand plan focus on woodland management solutions to these issues, such as thinning the area around the car park to increase visibility from the public road. Additional suggestions such as the use of cameras and height barriers have been passed onto the appropriate team for consideration.

This forest plan has now been submitted to the Forestry Commission for approval.

We asked

Forestry England manages Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest - Park Lane is a section of public highway, private road and forest track that transects the forest. Over recent years the displaced parking has become unsustainable and has created incidents of unsafe parking, legitimate road users have had their access blocked, including the emergency services. We consulted residents and neighbours on Park Lane and presented three options to address the current situation for a wider consultation.

You said

There were 386 responses to the survey; 8% were from residents or local businesses on Park Lane, 43% were from residents of Hawkhurst Parish, 26% of Cranbrook & Sissinghurst and 6% of Goudhurst. The remaining 17% were from none of the above. The most popular option was number 3 - to regulate parking, potentially with a locally administrated pass. 61% of respondents chose this option and a further 30% said that they would support this option even though it was not their first choice – a combined total of 91%. Furthermore, 59% said that this option was fair to all user groups. 

We did

Following this survey, with a good representation from each parish as well as different user groups, Forestry England will move ahead with plans to regulate parking.

Forestry England Park Lane parking consultation - full results

We asked

Members of the public and stakeholders were invited to the consultation of the draft proposals for the Broughton Moor Forest Plan 2020-2030, to leave feedback to ensure that the plans objectives and proposals were considered and balanced. This was carried out via emails and notices displayed at forest entrances. 

You said

There were a handful of responses to the consultation from members of the public, with most supporting the main forest management objectives. The main concerns raised include the following:

-The impact of larch felling in Broughton Moor 

-Demand for mountain biking facilities in Broughton Moor

-Questions around Public Right of Way maintenance

-Concerns around illegal motorbike access

We did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the Forest Plan where necessary.

The concern around the impact of larch felling in Broughton Moor is understandable given the prominence of this species in areas of the forest, particularly around The Hawk. The issuing of a statutory plant health notice and the ongoing threat to the larch trees in the area necessities that we act now, to reduce the risk to other trees in the area. In addition, the planned restocking containing a higher proportion of broadleaves when compared to the previous plan aims to reduce the landscape impact in the long term that losing the larch will cause.

Creation of cycle trails is outside of the scope of this forest management plan, however the feedback for additional cycling provision has been passed onto the recreation team for their consideration. Grizedale is Forestry England’s hub for mountain biking and supports numerous trails. There are no formal cycle paths or trails in Broughton Moor.

We remain committed to monitoring illegal motorbike activity in Broughton Moor and will continue to liaise with the police regarding this matter.

The Public Rights of Way within Broughton Moor are the responsibility of the National Park authority to maintain, and these comments have been passed onto the appropriate staff there.

This forest plan has now been submitted to the Forestry Commission for approval.

We asked

We asked people to provide feedback on proposed plans for some development work at Tyler's Wood. Thank you for your responses.

You said

There was a positive response to the consultation. The majority of respondents supported the development of more wildflowers, pathways, trees, a pond and additional seating. There was a strong interest in ensuring our forest wildlife continues to thrive and that the benefits of our forests will continue for generations to come. The majority of respondents stay up to date with our sites through the Facebook page (Thames Chase Woodlands - Forestry England) and notice boards on the site. We will continue to use these platforms and keep them up to date. There was some interest in volunteering on this project. We will continue to review Covid-19 guidance and advertise for volunteers if and when we feel it is safe to do so.

We did

Comments and feedback have been reviewed and incorporated into the development plan for Tyler's Wood. Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire.

We asked

We asked people to leave feedback on the newly drafted Forest Plan for Haugh Woods.  Thank you for your responses.

This forms part of our consultation with stakeholders, that helps to ensure that we achieve an appropriate balance when managing the woodlands.

 

You said

Overall there was positive support for the land management proposals within the new Forest Plan. 

There was concern over potential conflicts in use between walkers and mountain bikers and the impacts that deer and grey squirrel may have on broadleaf regeneration.

 

 

 

We did

Comments have been shared with the Forestry England beat forester, ecologist and recreation teams.  

The Forest Plan has now been submitted to the Forestry Commission for approval.

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.

We asked

Members of the public were invited to the consultation of the draft proposals for the Shobdon and Wigmore Forest Plan to leave feedback to ensure that the plans objectives and proposals were considered and balanced.

You said

Primarily there was good support for the proposals. including the restoration of PAW sites, although there were concerns raised over definition of PAW sites within the plan area.

Interest in the ecology of the forests and proposals to enhance and improve the ecological value of the forests also featured highly.

We did

Comments and feedback were incorporated into the Forest Plan where nescessary, prior to submission to Forest Services (FS) for approval. FS had no feedback from their consultation and the plan was approved for implementation on 20th December 2017

We asked

All of the land covered by this management plan is now jointly managed by Natural England and the Forestry Commission– this ten year plan represents the first phase of this new partnership and a new and exciting phase in the history of the forest.

The public were asked to comment on this new plan

You said

The majority of responses were broadly positive and welcomed this new approach to the management of the Wyre Forest.

Common features raised ranged from those to do with how Wyre Forest is used for recreation and the pressures it brings to the Forest to querries over habitat proposals outlined in the plan through to economics of the plan and resources required to make it happen.

We did

Forestry Commission and Natural England have discussed the responses and amended the plan where appropriate.  The Forestry Commission are also begining a process of drawing up a recreational strategy for the Wyre although at the time of writing this the completion date is unknown.

We asked

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: "The existing mountain bike facility is a positive use of the forest." Do you feel the bike jump facilities are a well-used facility in Stoke Park?

You said

74% strongly agreed and 15% strongly disagreed that the existing mountain bike facility is a positive use of the forest. 79% agreed and 21% disagreed that the bike jump facilities are a well-used facility in Stoke Park.

We did

Following the consultation results we will be to inviting those that expressed an interest in managing Stoke Park Bike Jumps to meet with the Forestry Commission to discuss what would be involved and required if this facility is to be formalised. Those that have expressed an interest via the consultation will be contacted directly.

We asked

As part of our planning process, we asked you as users accessing Dalby Forest for your thoughts on how a possible new traffic management system may work. The online survey ran from 28 July 2014 to 30 September 2014.

You said

We received just over 300 responses, electronic and paper copies. Feedback was also collated from two drop-in sessions for stakeholders.

We did

We analysed the survey responses and feedback from the stakeholder sessions. We shared this information with an independent traffic consultant. A tender for the procurement of a new entry system has started and a planning application has been submitted to the North York Moors National Park.

We asked

In order that our planning application for Forestry and Filming at Bourne Wood addresses, wherever possible, the issues and concerns raised by interested parties and that opportunities are taken within the application to add value to the filming activity locally, we asked you to complete our online survey to capture your views.

You said

65% of online responses were strongly supportive or supportive of filming activity continuing in Bourne Wood. 15% of online responses were strongly against. Many respondents, even those in support of the activity, were concerned about particular issues surrounding filming, predominantly: Nature, Recreational Access, Traffic and Noise.

We did

We have amended our initial outline proposals for future filming at Bourne Woods in light of feedback from the Residents Association, people’s feedback from the drop in event and the online survey responses. We recognise the main issues and have changed our planned application to address these points. The full application will be available on Waverley Borough Council's website very soon: http://waverweb.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/webdisplaypubliclist A non-technical summary of the application can be viewed on our website: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/englandsurreynoforestbournewood