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About us

Bluebell woodWe are the government department responsible for forestry in the South East. We are responsible for managing the Forestry Commission’s forests and through grants, licences and advice we work to support the management of all woodlands in the region.

Forestry Commission forests are public forests open to access on foot, bicycle and horseback. We aim to manage them in the best public interest, creating and sustaining forests and woodlands which are attractive as well as productive, useful to the community and pleasant places for people to visit, rich in wildlife, both plant and animal, and where the natural and cultural heritage is safely conserved. We try to do this as efficiently as possible, generating sufficient income to pay for these activities. By far the largest forest in the region is The New Forest, an exemplar of UK sustainable forest management.

For woodland owners and managers we offer advice and support through the England Woodland Grant Scheme. More widely, we work in partnership with a range of national, regional and local bodies to promote and secure the benefits which woodlands offer to the region. These include a place for recreation, a place to observe wildlife, a source of woodland products and a contribution to the landscape.

Our work is largely influenced by the Regional Forest Strategy.