The Glynn Valley Forest Plan covers 647 Hectares of the Public Forest Estate between Bodmin and Liskeard in Cornwall. The woodlands feature prominently within the landscape on both sides of the river Fowey, viewed from the main rail and road corridors running through the valley. A series of narrow, densely wooded tributary valleys and richer agricultural land and broadleaved woodland in the valley bottom characterise this stretch of the river.
The public forest here is a mixture of productive conifer plantation, mature and regenerating broadleaved woodland and open areas, including some agricultural land. Just under half of the area covered by the plan is classified as ancient woodland, most of it Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), but there are isolated pockets of native broadleaves among the conifer stands.
The commercial value of the conifer crops is significant, while the native broadleaf resource requires targeted management to provide the opportunity for expansion. The Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Cabilla and Redrice Nature Reserve borders Leball wood in the larger block of public forest north of the river. The network of forest roads and rides here links this ancient woodland with areas of broadleaved and open habitat to the north and west.
Over half of the plan area is dedicated as open access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. Much of the woodland south of the Fowey in the eastern part of the plan area is leased from the Boconnoc estate, and access here is restricted. Recreation provision is instead focused on nearby Cardinham Woods, which are covered by a separate plan.
The objectives of management in Glynn Valley are:
- Continue sustainable management of the woodland resource using continuous cover and low impact silviculture where applicable.
- Where such systems are not viable, develop woodland resilience by diversifying age and species composition through clearfelling and restocking.
- Enhance the woodlands value for nature conservation and biodiversity by developing a matrix of open and semi-open habitat linked by wildlife corridors.
- Increase native broadleaf cover over time, with the emphasis on PAWS restoration.
- Conserve all cultural and heritage features.
- Maintain the wooded landscape through coupes designed to enhance external views.
- Maintain access points for low key informal recreational activity and manage existing corridors to enhance internal landscaping.
The current plan outlines management proposals including felling and restocking over three decades, with felling licence approval for operations up until 2024.
The planned areas of clearfelling, restocking and permanent open space creation during the ten years to 2024 are summarised in the table below. The area of restocking exceeds that of felling as some previously felled areas were yet to be planted when the plan was prepared.
In addition to these defined operations, ongoing thinning and selective felling of both conifers and broadleaves will be carried out in the plan area at five to ten year intervals.
The proportions of conifer and broadleaved woodland and open space at the beginning of the plan period are shown in the bar chart. The gradual reduction of conifer cover and increase in broadleaved regeneration expected within the plan period and over time is indicated in the middle and right hand columns of the chart.