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Planning for the Future

Strategic Plans - Forest Design Plans - Operational Site Assessments - Archaeological Plans - Plans for SSSIs

The 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

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).

Dorset and South Wilts Management Plan Document

Location, Beats, Tenure, Ancient Woodland, Designations, Forest Design Plans, Working Blocks, Saw Mills, Archaeology, Green Space, Moors Valley Country Park Visitors, Estate.

Forest Plans

Forest Plans define the long term vision for woodlands that we manage, usually looking 50 to 100 years ahead. It sets objectives and illustrates how management will move towards achieving this vision over the initial 10 to 30 years.

Download the Forest Plan leaflet (PDF 383K) here for more information. 

Please click here to view the Forest Design Plan page for the South Forest District.



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.

Archaeological Plans

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. 

Last updated: 30th June 2018
Planning and consultation meeting in car park


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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.