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Trees at Chawton Park and Bushey Leaze Woods need space to grow.

Young beech trees in winter

The Forestry Commission will next week (from 11 January) begin work in Chawton Park & Bushey Leaze woodlands, felling some of the trees in order to allow native trees more room to grow and encourage the wildlife and habitats beneath to thrive. Selectively removing just some of the trees is known as ‘thinning’.

More than 2,600 cubic metres of wood is expected to be harvested from the two areas and will be used in a range of ways – from woodfuel to construction. The work will take up to ten weeks and a range of specialist skills will be used, from harvesting machine operators and mechanics to engineers and supervisory staff.

Although the sites will remain open during the felling, visitors must pay attention to safety signs and information about diversions to the main tracks that will be temporarily closed to allow machinery to get the timber to the roadside.

Beat Forester, Michael Ullman, explained:

“Some people worry that tree felling is bad, but sustainably managed, it’s a key part of good woodland management. Harvesting trees provides the wood that we all use in our daily lives and thins forests to promote new growth. Directly after felling at Chawton Park and Bushey Leaze, the area may look quite messy, but seeds will soon blow in from surrounding native trees and take root on the woodland floor.”

He added,

“Once the work is complete the area will appear much more open and ground vegetation will begin to grow as light levels increase so the woods will become more diverse in terms of plants and creatures.”

Harvesting and extraction of timber will take place during the next eight to ten weeks, and during this time safety will be a priority on site. Warning signs will be in place around the work and it is important that visitors to pay attention to signs for their own safety, that of others and dogs they may be walking.

The UK still imports a large percentage of timber, but there’s a fantastic opportunity to grow and actively manage more woodland here in the UK for use in heating our homes and building new ones.

Wood harvesting is also an important source of income for the Forestry Commission. The income from harvesting at these sites is reinvested to help protect and improve the woodland for people, wildlife and future timber production.

Notes for Editors

1. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Further information can be found at

Media Contact:

Esta Mion, at the Forestry Commission, tel: 0300 067 4634, email: