A NEW campsite could help protect the future of a historic wood, according to a planning application.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

“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.”

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, further bolstering the local economy. We are keen to also provide a place for locals to improve their health, wellbeing and education about the natural environment.”