The Rural Estate manages approximately 1,700 acres of mixed broadleaf and coniferous woodland which are subject to a detailed Forestry Commission 20-year Woodland Management Plan (WMP) which sets out a long term and sustainable strategy. This also complies with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), which is externally monitored.
The Estate runs a continuous thinning, felling and replanting programme which is manged through the WMP.
The vast majority of the woodland sits within the Nidderdale AONB. Some of the woodland areas have been continually wooded since the 1600s and are registered on the Ancient Woodland Inventory. These sites are managed predominantly for long term retention, biodiversity and conservation.
Within the woodland are a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) – such as the Druid’s Temple – which also include prehistoric rock carving of national importance.
Annually the Estate harvest 3,000 to 5,000 tonnes with the majority sold on the open market to sawmills and wood processors predominantly in the North of England. The higher-grade timber is used for construction, carcassing (internal joinery), pallets, garden and fencing materials.
The lower grade timber is retained by the Estate, air-dried for up to two years and then chipped on site to feed the Estate’s carbon biomass boilers which provide sustainable carbon neutral energy for heating and hot water for Swinton Park, Swinton Cookery School and the Country Club.
Work in our woodland may occasionally cause delays or diversions on certain Public Rights of Way and Permissive Routes, please follow signage as appropriate.