The Forestry Commission grant aid woodland management plans, which can provide a ten year permission for all felling and management work. To be eligible the woodland must be a minimum of 3 hectares and also registered with the Rural Land Registry. The current grant is £1,000 for woodlands of up to 50 acres, and usually covers more than half of the costs of preparation. A plan is also an essential precondition of some other sources of grant aid, including the current Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
We have produced numerous plans for smaller private landowners and farmers, through to a plan for 72 hectares of woodlands on the St Aubyn Estate, a large private family estate in west Cornwall.
Management plans can be geared to commercial production or specifically for nature conservation, depending on the objectives of the client. They set out a long term strategy as well as a detailed plan of operations, on an annual basis for five years and then for years five to ten. It will cover all legal aspects to enable positive management, working systems to safeguard protected species and calculations of timber volumes to be felled during the term of the plan.
Clients have included:
- A private landowner near Truro, with 10 hectares of broadleaved woodland, now being thinned for firewood
- A farmer with 27 hectares of predominantly willow, being coppiced for a Renewable Heat Incentive scheme
- A landowner managing three hectares of broadleaves planted for amenity and conservation
- Preparing a management plan for a community wood in Falmouth, for the Friends of Tregoniggie Woodland.
We have a major interest in continuous cover forestry, where commercial management is undertaken without the need for clear felling, and often relies on natural regeneration for the next crop of trees. This can reduce establishment costs and leads a to woodland with a diverse structure that is also good ecologically.
Our contracting background helps us deliver practical plans and we are always willing to maintain long term relationships with an owner, helping them with advice to ensure effective implementation of the plan. At the end f the day the objective is good and cost-effective woodland management, not a fancy plan!