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News releases - 2016



Great news for autumn lovers - experts predict a dazzling display this year!

This year we can expect a feast for our eyes as early as mid-September with impressive displays of vibrant autumn colours predicted by Forestry Commission England. This is great news for those who wish to give their wellbeing a boost before the winter months, with 96% of people saying that beautiful autumn colours improve their mood in a recent survey!


Become a wildlife explorer and take part in the Forestry Commission's exciting two-day BioBlitz at Bedgebury

After its success in 2014, visitors are once again being asked to join expert naturalists at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest near Goudhurst, Kent to carry out a fast and intensive 48 hours survey of the different flora and fauna in the Pinetum. The Bedgebury BioBlitz will take place on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August.


New seedlings from conservation expedition will replace Kent’s tallest tree

Kent’s tallest tree, the “Old Man of Kent”, has been an iconic part of the Forestry Commission’s conifer collection at Bedgebury National Pinetum, near Goudhurst, Kent, and sadly it has now reached the end of its natural life and was felled yesterday.


Nests removed and destroyed after oak processionary caterpillars found in Watford

Nests of oak processionary moth caterpillars have been cleared from oak trees in Watford after being found in the town for the first time.


Experience a world of wooden wonders at Treefest

The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is celebrating its final Treefest in style with a jam-packed line-up of activities to keep the whole family entertained over the August Bank Holiday weekend.


Stay alert to chestnut tree pest

The Forestry Commission is asking people to keep an eye out for, and report suspected cases of, Oriental chestnut gall wasp (OCGW), an insect which affects sweet chestnut trees


Forest Commission England launches their Early Years Teachers' Pack

Research has shown that 82% of teachers would like to participate in outdoor learning. To enable this Forestry Commission England’s learning team has developed an Early Years Teacher’s Pack. This free online resource is made up of a series of programmes linked to the Early Years and Key Stage 1 curricula and is filled with activities to familiarise children with the forest in a fun and engaging way. There are also fun Gruffalo-themed forest activities for children to do with their families at home.


New National Arts Development Programme Manager for Forestry Commission England

To drive forward the development of high-quality and innovative artworks in England’s national woods and forests, Forestry Commission England has appointed Hayley Skipper as their new National Arts Development Programme Manager.


Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England demonstrate that Forest Art Works

On 11 July, 2016, Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England will sign a new four year partnership to expand and extend the reach of high quality, innovative artworks in England’s Forests.


An awesome foursome for the Kielder Osprey Project

The delicate task of ringing at least 10 young ospreys of Kielder Water and Forest Park is underway, carried out by experts from the Forestry Commission. This important task helps the team at the Kielder Osprey Project to monitor the birds’ progress and is helping keep track of the recovery of ospreys in England.


Summer fun for free at Westonbirt!

The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt is hosting a whole new summer event series for 2016 to keep all ages entertained throughout the holidays.


Run Forest Run, for beginners running in the forest

If you are new to running then a busy gym or jam-packed streets can feel like a daunting experience. Launched by Forestry Commission England on 11 July, the new way-marked routes in distances of 3, 2 and 1km ‘Run Forest Run’ trails are perfect for the beginner runner. The trails which are starting at 3 sites allow visitors to escape crowds and run at their own pace in an inspiring and quiet environment.


Don’t touch’ reminder over oak processionary caterpillar nests in London, Surrey and Berkshire

People in parts of London, Surrey and Berkshire have been reminded not to touch the nests which oak processionary caterpillars build in oak trees in these areas, and to protect their animals from contact with them.


Adventure through the forests on Forestry Commission England’s new wild running trails

Forestry Commission England is launching a pilot series of off the beaten running routes as part of their on-going partnership with Sport England. The 5 and 10k trails have been mapped at 4 sites by wild running enthusiasts and authors of guidebook ‘Wild Running’ Jen and Sim Benson, allowing visitors to adventure into the woods and go wild. The routes can be view at http://www.forestry.gov.uk/wildrunning