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Woodland Planting Smithy Wood, Garsdale

D1 – Woodland management

How are we doing on this objective

Work with farmers and landowners to ensure that at least 70% of all woodland is in ‘active management’ by 2023, including positive management of conifer plantations to increase suitable habitat for red squirrels and black grouse.

Active Management” – Includes all woodland that is in receipt of any national woodland grants, an approved felling licence, or is owned or managed by the Forestry Commission.


Progress: The area of woodland in active management decreased from 66% to 64%.


Rationale:  Good management of woodland improves biodiversity, makes it more robust, and reduces water run-off.  Currently 5,750 ha (65%) of woodland is in active management.  Achieving the objective would mean bringing a further 440 ha into management over the next 5 years.

Lead partner:  Forestry Commission;

Supporting partners:  Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Dales Woodland Forum; Natural England

Further information:   

Cost over 5 years:   £1,300,000

Funding shortfall:  None

Related objectives:   A1; C1; C2; C3; D2; D5; E9

Ecosystem services:  Biodiversity; Water quality; Water flow; Soil erosion; Climate regulation; Timber provision; Energy

Trade-offs:  Active management (which includes felling and restocking) can have short term impacts on Tranquility (A2), species (C2), water quality (C3), and natural flood management (D5). These impacts are assessed through local consultation applications of the UK Forestry Standard, and the Woodland Siting and Design Guide.

Baseline: 65% (5,750 ha) of woodland in the extended National Park is in active management (March 2018).