National Park Woodlands

Exmoor National Park Authority either owns, or leases, 569 hectares of woodland across the National Park including two National Nature Reserves.

Our primary woodland management objective is to improve the diversity, extent and condition of our most important and valued habitats through a long-term, landscape-scale approach to habitat conservation.

Each of our woodlands is subject to a management plan and these plans set out the vision for how it can best meet our objectives. The tasks that will achieve the overall vision are described in the management plans and are undertaken either by our own Field Services Team, or by local contractors. 

The work that we undertake in our woodlands can vary from controlling invasive species, such as Rhododendron ponticum, gap creation and thinning, improving structural diversity and carrying out tree surgery to improve deadwood habitats.

Timber from larger felling operations is often sold to local timber merchants who convert it and sell it on as firewood or other products. Timber from smaller operations such as removing a tree or branch that has become hazardous, is often left in the woodland to create important deadwood habitats.

Some of the timber is processed into products such as directional signs, gates and stiles by Exmoor National Park Authority for use across the National Park. Felled timber is milled and then seasoned for several years in drying sheds until it is dry enough for use. The distinctive and durable products are then manufactured in ENPA's workshop in Exford (see photo gallery below) making it a unique and sustainable way of ensuring that the special character of Exmoor is maintained.

We also carry out continuous surveys to measure the success of our management techniques and to monitor the impact of climate change on Exmoor's woodlands through a tree phenology survey. Survey information is then used to assist us with planning future woodland work.

Burridge Woods

Culbone Woods

Hawkcombe Woods

North Hill Woodlands

Simonsbath Woodlands

Tarr Steps Woods