A new campsite could help protect the future of a historic wood according to a recently submitted planning application.
Friday, 30th October 2020, 6:00 am
The Branshaw Plantation, off Slaymaker Lane in Oakworth, includes a woodland that was planted in the 1800s by former MP, inventor and manufacturer Sir Isaac Holden.
The site was sold earlier this year, and now a planning application to create a “low density” campsite with up to 40 pitches has been submitted to Bradford Council.
The application says the development will bring a new attraction to the area, and “ensure a long-term sustainable approach to the management of the 10.5 acre woodland.”
It could host forest school camps and wild yoga sessions.
Submitted by Duncan and Emma Davids, the plans are for a “dignified wild camping”site that will include a reception, toilet and shower facilities and a car park.
It will create around six jobs.
In the early 1980s, planning permission to create a Girl Scouts campsite on the land was approved, but the site was never developed.
The application says: “The previous owners had the woodland for over 30 years predominantly as a private investment and so the woodland has remained largely unmanaged during this time.
“The proposed low-density camping activity could be best described as ‘dignified wild camping’ keeping everything as basic, in-touch with and low impact on nature as possible, while toilet and shower facilities would ensure hygiene and sanitation.
“Campers would be encouraged to ‘leave no trace’, reducing disturbance to the natural environment as much as possible.
“The unique woodland camping aspect would be supplemented by outdoor activities for all ages made available within the woods such as bushcraft, forest school camps, wild yoga sessions or corporate team building events that will promote health and wellbeing for visitors and locals.
“The income from the business will enable the proper management of the woodland, carefully promoting native flora and fauna, and an approved Woodland Management Plan from the Forestry Commission would be sought.
“This will also create employment opportunity within Oakworth, we are aiming to establish six jobs over five years. Problems with Ash die back (safety issue) and rhododendron (ecological issue) can also be addressed using the income from the site. These actions will further enhance this Bradford Wildlife Area in Oakworth for decades to come.
“Having a low-density campsite ensures that the proper rotation of pitches can be achieved to protect the environment – the proposal for up to 40 pitches is a fraction of the usual 30 pitches per acre that you would find at a ‘typical’ grass campsite, whilst creating seclusion and privacy for campers to feel ‘away from it all’ and in-touch with nature.”
“Campers will be encouraged to ‘leave no trace’ – an ethos of wild camping, meaning all refuse is collated and any disturbances to nature are restored. Hammock camping will also be promoted as this ensures the minimal impact to the ground.”
A pond on the site will also be restored under the plans.
The application adds: “This model to establish a camping and outdoor activity business within the woodland will bring a unique aspect to Oakworth, attracting new and different kinds of tourists and dy visitors, further bolstering the local economy. We are keen to also provide a place for locals to improve their health, wellbeing and where desired, education about the natural environment.”
A decision on the application is expected before the end of the year.
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