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Public invited to have their say on new Harrogate woodland

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 13:50

By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter

How the new Haverah woodland might look (Image: The Forestry Commission)

The public has been invited to have their say on proposals for a vast new woodland at Beckwithshaw near Harrogate.

Government-owned public body the Forestry Commission wants to plant thousands of trees at Haverah Park, which is close to another one of its woodlands at Stainburn Forest.

Like at Stainburn, trees would eventually be chopped down for timber and then replanted but only after 25 years.

The Forestry Commission has launched a public consultation on the scheme with comments sought until July 28. Details on how to take part are at the end of this article.

Haverah Park was originally created in the late 12th century as a royal deer park within the Forest of Knaresborough. The land is currently used by a local farmer.

Species at Haverah are likely to include Scots pine, Norway spruce and native broadleaves such as oak, rowan, alder, birches, hawthorn and cherry.

It would retain some open space near Moor Park, preserving grassland with many different species and some open views towards Nidderdale.

An existing right of way from Beckwithshaw to Beaver Dyke reservoirs would run through the middle of the site for the public to use.

Grass paths would also give further access to walkers throughout much of the new woodland.

The Forestry Commission is conducting ecology surveys at the site so it can understand more about the plants, wildlife and ecosystems at Haverah.

The survey is ongoing and will be finished later this month.

Planting is set to get underway at Haverah this winter and the woodland will contribute towards a government commitment to increase tree planting rates across the UK to 30,000 hectares a year by 2025.

However, the UK is still a long way off that goal as there were just over 3,000 hectares planted in 2022/23, according to official statistics.

A public consultation event will take place about Haverah on Thursday July 18, between 4pm to 7pm at Beckwithshaw Village Hall.

There is also an online feedback form available at https://consult.forestryengland.uk/forest-districts/haverah-consult.

Comments can also be received by emailing woodlandcreationenquiries@forestryengland.uk

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