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NEWS RELEASE No: 1657912 APRIL 2016

Ambitious plans for improving Alice Holt Forest

Alice Holt

The Forestry Commission will be investing over £2.3million to improve Alice Holt Forest’s amenities over the next 12 months. Visitors to Alice Holt Forest will soon benefit from a new café, extra seating and additional facilities, as the site undergoes a redevelopment to improve the popular woodland destination. The site and existing café will remain open to the public during the redevelopment to ensure visitors can continue to enjoy the forest while work takes place.

Families will still be able to enjoy the play equipment and sculpture trails to learn more about the forest. Biking fans will continue to love the cycle paths across the forest – including the only formal off-road cycle trail in 30 miles, which is safe from roads and passing traffic – and Go Ape, the ultimate treetop experience.

The main change will be a new café with bigger indoor and outdoor seating areas, and landscape changes to improve access for all abilities. The new building will be of the high design and quality standards that our visitors expect, and will be open from this winter. The new café will be located next to the current visitor centre and will see the seating capacity more than double in size to over 100 seats inside, and 120 outside.

In addition, car park improvements are planned to create more spaces, including purpose built disabled parking. There will also be the introduction of safer pedestrian zones and a turning area, helping to improve access and traffic flow.

Julian Williams, Alice Holt Site Manager at Forestry Commission, said:

“We want our visitors to have the best possible time while they’re at Alice Holt Forest. Over the years, we’ve become more popular so need to improve the facilities to make sure we deliver much needed extra capacity and help to meet the growing demands on site. This exciting redevelopment marks a new chapter in Alice Holt’s history and we can’t wait for our visitors to see the new facilities.

”Work starts on site from June and we hope visitors will continue to enjoy Alice Holt, whilst watching the exciting developments taking place. We aim to minimise disruption through a number of carefully planned redevelopment phases and have worked hard to make sure we’re also protecting the natural environment and wildlife during the project. We couldn’t do this work without the support of the community and we hope that new and existing visitors will continue to access Alice Holt Forest.”

Other changes include a new wood pellet boiler that will provide clean and sustainable energy to the visitor centre and new café, reduced staff traffic on site, and additional planting areas.
For further information about Alice Holt Forest, please visit

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.
Notes to editors:
Media Contact:
Esta Mion, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission - South England Forest District. / 07900 137 957.