The New Forest District’s planning team is made up of staff with forestry, ecological, information technology and cartographic skills.
The team prepares a range of plans for the area, all of which are used to guide management of the woodlands and open habitats. These include Strategic Management Plans, Forest Design Plans, Operational Site Assessments, Archaeological Plans and plans for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The overall objective for the Planning team is to ensure that management plans for the Forest District deliver public benefits in the form of improved biodiversity for wildlife, attractive woodlands for people and rural employment for communities.
All plans need to comply with a number of different conservation, recreation and Government strategies. A Forestry Strategy for England is produced by the Government, and then broken down into regional and local strategies to give more specific guidelines for the plans.
If areas are designated as SSSIs or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) further guidelines are created to ensure that nature conservation becomes a much higher priority. Local people and teams of experts are regularly brought together to discuss the plans to ensure that broad support is given by those that use the forest.
Strategic Plans set out our District Policies and issues translated from national, regional and local policy. They set out a series of actions to uphold policy and address the various issues relevant to the District. These provide the basis for more detailed work plans and strategies including Forest Design Plans. The District has two key Strategic Plans – the Crown Lands Management Plan and the Dorset & South Wiltshire Management Plan (please see documents below).
Forest Design Plans
Forest Design Plans set out the short, medium and long-term aims for forest management based upon a set of Forest Design Plan Objectives. These objectives take into account requirements from the policy framework and are further influenced by outcomes from stakeholder consultation and local issues.
Each plan has its own unique set of objectives, but generally all Forest Design Plans aim to:
- Restore or re-create habitats
- Maintain or enhance existing habitats for nature conservation and landscape benefit
- Manage public access to protect vulnerable habitats
- Create an appropriate mosaic of woodland, heathland, native grassland and wetland habitats
- Grow quality timber for future generations
- Protect archaeological sites and
- Enhance the forest landscape for all forest users.
Download the Forest Design Plan leaflet (PDF 383K) here for more information.
A series of seven Forest Design Plans cover the District:
New Forest Inclosures (FDP Units A,B,C & D)
East Dorset Woodlands (FDP Unit E)
Purbeck Heath Woodlands (FDP Unit F)
Cranborne Chase Woodlands (FDP Unit G)
The Forest Design Plans were initially drawn up in 2001 starting with the New Forest Inclosures and extended across the rest of the District. The Plans are valid for 10 years but undergo a mid-term review to ensure that the objectives are still appropriate and that the plans are working effectively on the ground. The Plans also provide the basis for the granting of a 10 year felling licence to cover the thinning and felling depicted by the Plan.
The East Dorset Forest Design Plan (69K) underwent review in 2009. As part of this process, consultation was carried out with a range of stakeholders through the Forest Design Plan Forum and with Forest users by means of guided walks and forest surgeries. A summary of the consultation responses (129K)can be viewed.
East Dorset Forest Design Plans:
Approval (26k) , Design Map (3314K), Felling map (2575K) NEW202 (29K), Restock Map (2757K) , Statistics (30K)
Approval (30K) , Design Map (2659 K), Felling Map (2450K) , NEW207-NEW208 (30K) Restock Map (2358K) , Statistics (24k)
Approval (30K) , Design Map (971K) , Felling Map (782K) , NEW209 (29K) , Restock Map (748K) , Statistics (30K)
Hurn / Ramsdown
Approval (30K) , Design Map (4902K) , Felling Map (4137(K) , NEW204 (28K) , Restock Map (4315K) , Statistics (24K)
Approval (30K) , Design Map (5406K) , Felling Map (5141K) , NEW201 (26K) , Restock Map (4899K) , Statistics (30K)
Approval (25K) , Design Map (3072K) , Felling Map (2493K) , NEW203 (24K) , Restock Map (2495K) , Statistics (23K)
Purbeck Forest Design Plans
The Purbeck Forest Design Plans are currently undergoing review. The consultation phase comprising of a Forest Design Plan Forum event and a public drop in event covering all the Purbeck Design Plans was carried out over the summer/autumn of 2010.
The FC are awaiting publication of the FC Open Habitats Police before finalising the plans.
Operational Site Assessments
Operational plans are prepared for each of the Inclosures/woodlands prior to work taking place to ensure that Forest Design Plans are correctly and accurately implemented, and that rare and fragile features and habitats are identified and protected as work progresses.
The planning team also produce management plans for each of the scheduled archaeological monuments in the forest district (of which there are over 200) to ensure that they are protected and preserved for future generations. These plans have been developed in consultation with English Heritage, the statutory body responsible heritage and for ancient monuments.
Plans for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
The team creates specific plans to address nature conservation in these specially designated areas. There are currently fifteen SSSI plans for Dorset’s designated areas that cover approximately 700 hectares. All of the New Forest has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The management plan for the Crown Lands of the New Forest sets out all the actions to be taken by the Forestry Commission in managing this protected area. This plan also forms part of the New Forest SAC plan.