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 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