How can new woodlands be planned across the Chew Valley in a joined up way that makes sense in terms of what is already there and which avoids displacing things of high value such as arable food production, biodiverse grasslands and protected habitats and species?

Our methodology is quite simple. Land is considered opportunity-woodland if it is all of the following:

  • on moderate or poor quality agricultural land, Grades 3b, 4 or 5 including on steep slopes
  • not on peat soils
  • on non-biodiverse grassland
  • not arable land use
  • not existing woodland
  • not protected

Putting these criteria together in a geographic information system identifies those areas where they are satisfied and where woodland creation may be appropriately considered. The map shows existing woodland in green and opportunity woodland in dark red.

Our woodland potential map shows those areas where the criteria are satisfied in red.

You can read the details of the different criteria in the Chew Valley on related pages:

Other Considerations

Towards the north the Chew Valley is Green Belt land, whilst to the south it is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of the Mendip AONB. Neither of these are considered here as limitations for woodland creation.