Forestry Commission logo

Filming at Bourne Wood

Bourne Woods is the preferred woodland film location in the UK. This is because of its proximity to the London film studios, the feeling of isolation from the 21st century and the excellent access and facilities on site. 

Key Filming Facts

On the film set of  Gladiator On the film set of  Gladiator


  • The first big budget movie to film in The Bourne Woods was Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe and Directed by Ridley Scott in 1999.
  • Since 1999 numerous films, commercials, TV programmes and music videos have been filmed in The Bourne Woods.  These have recently included: Robin Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Wolfman, War Horse, adverts for IKEA and Marmite and Brothers of Men.
  • Surrey CC estimate that filming creates £79million to the economy in Surrey
  • For 1 recent film 141 beds were taken for 2 weeks in local hotels, B&Bs and guest houses.
  • The Tongham bakery, Tilford shop, RSPB and W Mathias’ nursery have all had significant orders from film companies.
  • Filming has paid for the all ability cycle trail at Alice Holt as well as several other projects.

The Forestry Commission's application for planning permission, relating to change of use from 'Forestry' to Forestry and Filming' has been approved. Waverley Planning Committee's decision to award planning consent is for a period of 5 years with conditions.

Iain Skinner, Planning and Development Surveyor at the Forestry Commission said:

“This is a really positive decision for Bourne Wood and the local economy, and we are grateful to the many local residents and businesses who talked with us throughout this process, and helped us to shape proposals in order to alleviate their concerns.

As well as increasing demand for accommodation, food and beverages, and local contractors, filming at Bourne Wood boosts local leisure and retail spend.

It also raises critical funds that we use to protect and enhance the forest environment, safeguarding the future of our forests and improving it for recreational use.

Since the opening sequence of Gladiator was shot here in 1999, Bourne Wood has played a leading role in a series of internationally renowned films including War Horse and Robin Hood, as well as adverts and TV series. This illustrates the national strategic importance of the site to the UK film industry and we look forward to working with production companies on exciting filming projects in the future.

We will now be working to put in place the arrangements and documents that are required by the planning consent."

Last updated: 7th March 2016

What's of interest

Interested in using Bourne Wood for filming?
Please contact our Filming Liaison Officer, Pam Eastwood, on 07778 110349 for more information.

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.