Woodland Management Plan

Farnley Estates granted funding for woodland management plan

Farnley Estates have received funding from the Forestry Commission to generate a woodland management plan. Tilhill, a specialist forestry management organisation, is creating the 10-year plan that will guide the future management of the Estate’s 400 acres of woodland.

“Around sixty per cent of our woodlands are classed as ancient, semi-natural woodland, some of which dates back to the reign of Henry VIII. They’re also an important aesthetic addition to the local landscape in Huddersfield. Having a robust woodland management plan in place will help to make sure that these woodlands remain healthy for at least the next 50 to 100 years,” says Paul Sykes, Director Farnley Estates.

Once accepted by the Forestry Commission, the woodland management plan will provide a blueprint for felling and under-planting over the next decade. The aim is to create healthy woodlands with diverse species that differ in age.

When woodlands are left to nature, the trees will grow to the same height and age. Undergrowth dies and wildlife cannot survive, meaning that the woods are, in effect, dead. The most cost-effective way to deal with such woods is to fell the trees and re-plant with saplings. Farnley Estates, however, are taking a much more proactive approach.

“We’re stewards of this land, and this long-term programme will last beyond our lifetime. While the work takes place we intend to keep the landscape unchanged. Following guidance from Natural England, we’re planning selective felling of trees in specific areas. This allows sunlight to reach the woodland floor and promotes the growth of plants and shrubs that provide shelter and food for birds and animals. We’ll then plant specially-selected tree species to create woodlands of differing ages,” added Paul.

Re-introducing a variety of native tree species also helps to protect woodland against disease. As different species require different amounts of light and water to remain healthy, having diverse woodlands can also mitigate the effects of climate change.

Over the past 16 years, Farnley Estates has planted more than 70,000 trees. This number is expected to increase significantly when the new woodland management plan is implemented later this year, following approval from the Forestry Commission and Natural England.

You can read more about the conservation work taking place at Farnley Estates online at http://www.farnleyestates.co.uk/higher-lever-stewardship

Click on the link to download the Estate's Draft Woodland Management Plan.

To comment on the plan email info@farnleyestates.co.uk