News releases - 2014

Moors Valley Country Park unaffected by heathland fire

Following the 16 April 2014 fire at Watchmoor Bike Park, Moors Valley Country Park and its visitor facilities are open as normal and will continue to be open across the Easter weekend.

Dog owners urged to take Walk Your Dog Week challenge

Dog owners are being challenged to walk their pet every day during Walk Your Dog Week (Monday 28 April to Monday 5 May 2014), a new campaign spearheaded by Forestry Commission England and supported by some of the UK’s top dog charities.

Woodland work at Western Common

In April 2014, regular walkers at Western Common near Lasham may see some forestry activity as felling gets underway on site.

Forestry finalists have their day in the woods at Alice Holt

Two local school children got the chance to experience forestry first-hand after winning the Forestry Commission’s competition to shadow a Forest Ranger for the day at Alice Holt Forest, Surrey.

Forestry Commission England announces results of national tender for learning providers

Forestry Commission England has announced that it will be working in partnership with three organisations to deliver its national learning strategy at nine locations across England.

Latchmore Brook Wetland Restoration Public Exhibition

LUC, an independent planning and environmental consultancy has been commissioned by the Forestry Commission to prepare a Planning Application and Environmental Statement for the Latchmore Brook Wetland Restoration project in the South Forest District.

Visit woods and forests to fuel children’s imaginations this spring

After a wet winter, Forestry Commission England's woods and forests will spring to life over the next few months, offering families the chance to stretch imaginations and run off excess winter energy.

Dates announced for Westonbirt’s signature summer event, Treefest

Tickets have gone on sale for Treefest (23 – 25 August 2014) at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire.

Alice Holt Forest Ranger winners revealed

The Forestry Commission and TV presenter Helen Skelton have today announced who the two lucky winners are of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Ranger competition, launched in January 2014.

Rebecca Ferguson confirms Forest Live concerts

Rebecca Ferguson is the final headline act announced for this summer’s Forest Live - performing at Thetford and Westonbirt in June 2014.

Dog microchipping event at Town Lane Field

The Forestry Commission and the RSPCA Southport & Ormskirk Animal Shelter are running a dog microchipping event at Town Lane Field in Southport on Friday 11 April.

Discovery Day enjoyed by all at Alice Holt Forest

A beautiful sunny day was enjoyed by all at the Forestry Commission’s Discovery Day at Alice Holt Forest on Sunday 30 March 2014.

Ospreys return to Kielder Water and Forest Park

In a move that has surprised even the most eager watchers, a female osprey returned to nest in Kielder Water & Forest Park for the sixth year in a row earlier than predicted.

Timber! Moors Valley woodlands put to work

Visitors to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest may see some real forestry activity if they go to the woodland this month More than 4,000 cubic metres of wood is currently being harvested at Moors Valley for use in a range of ways – from woodfuel to construction.

King of the Jungle returns to the Forest

Boyzone have announced Kian Egan, former member of the multimillion selling band Westlife, as very special guest on their Forest Live dates this summer performing in four spectacular woodland locations across the country.

Bedgebury blooms in time for Mother’s Day

After the wet and windy winter, there is much anticipation and excitement at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, as the new Cherry Tree Avenue that was planted last year is about to blossom.


With the warm weather that has been forecast for this weekend, it is hoped that the cherry trees will create a striking avenue of pink blossom in time for Mother’s Day.

The Pogues join Forest Live

The Pogues are the latest act to be announced, performing as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live annual concert series this summer where bands play in beautiful woodland settings across the country.

Fantastic Forest Ranger Finalists Announced!

The Forestry Commission has today announced the shortlist for the Alice Holt Forest Rangers competition.

Ellerburn Trail launches

The Forestry Commission and the Cyclists’ Touring Club will open a new trail on Sunday April 13 2014, which is accessible to all for active recreation, in the heart of Dalby Forest on the southern slopes of the North York Moors. The Ellerburn Trail is a multi-user pathway for disabled cyclists, walkers, and wheelchair users as well as being a safe and accessible route for children learning to ride a bike and parents with pushchairs.

Forestry Commission launch a new volunteer group near Woodhall Spa

Following the success of other volunteer groups in Lincolnshire, the Forestry Commission is launching a new ‘Woodland Workout’ group at their Ostler’s Plantation site, just outside Woodhall Spa.

Forestry Commission launches Ruff Guide to the Forest

Help for holidaying with your dog is here, with the launch of Forestry Commission England’s Ruff Guide to the Forest.


Forestry Commission England has created a one-stop-shop for owners and their dogs looking to take a break in and around forests and woodlands.


The Ruff Guide to the Forest showcases 34 Forestry Commission locations across England, highlighting each site’s trails and facilities suitable for dogs, along with dog-friendly places to stay nearby.

Nine in ten people believe forest visits can reduce stress

Forestry Commission England’s national Forest Discovery Day aims to encourage more people to make time to visit their local woods and forests.

Celebrate Forest Discovery Day at Alice Holt with your family and four legged friend!

Following the success of the Forestry Commission’s previous nationwide Discovery Day, Alice Holt will once again be hosting a day of family fun on Sunday 30 March.

Volunteers needed to help renovate Hamsterley Forest bike trails

Work has commenced on the £235,000 makeover of Hamsterley Forest visitor facilities. The Forestry Commission is putting a call out for local people to help complete part of the work.


Over the next few weeks volunteers are needed to help build new a new bike trail. Work has already commenced on a new section of the mountain bike trail with help from the Hamsterley Trailblazers (local volunteer mountain bike club) but more volunteers are needed.

Paws Outdoors campaign launched as Forestry Commission and Kennel Club sign new concordat

Forestry Commission England is launching its new Paws Outdoors campaign at Crufts this week (Friday 7 March), supported by the Kennel Club, to encourage more owners to take their dog for a day out in the forest.


The campaign includes the publication of new local dog-friendly guides, a dog-walking awareness week and events at Forestry Commission sites across the country. The search is also on to find a star dog to become the face of the campaign.

UK woodland carbon goes on sale for first time

The first units of carbon dioxide set to be sequestered, or removed from the atmosphere, by woodlands validated under the UK’s Woodland Carbon Code have been notified for sale for the first time.

Forestry commission pilot boosts wild venison supply

A Forestry Commission hosted project across the East of England has made it easier for businesses to bring wild venison to supermarket shelves and help address some of the issues associated with a growing deer population in the region

Five signs that spring is arriving at Westonbirt Arboretum

Spring is starting to stir at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, as nature gets ready to bring an explosion of colour to the stunning Victorian-designed landscape, which is cared for by the Forestry Commission.

Final call for Forestry Commission Forest Rangers Competition

The closing date for the Forestry Commission’s exciting competition to give young people in the South of England the opportunity to be a Forestry Commission Ranger for the day is fast approaching – the deadline is midnight on Friday 14 March 2014.

Tree Fu Tom and the Forestry Commission Spring Into Action in May

The Forestry Commission’s Dalby Forest, located on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park, will be welcoming visitors and a special guest over May Bank Holiday weekend as it launches its new play area, visitor centre and a new Go Ape attraction aimed at six – 12-year-olds, Treetop Junior.

Sir Harry Studholme appointed Chair of Forestry Commission

Sir Harry Studholme has been appointed Chair of the Board of Forestry Commissioners for a term of three years.

Forestry sector meets to set the way forward for skills, learning and development

Leading figures in forestry met at the Highgrove Estate on Friday 14 February to discuss how to work better together to ensure forestry skills remain a priority for the future.

Westonbirt Arboretum grows community links

The Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire has welcomed two new Community Officers to its team as part of a project to help more people to learn from, participate in and enjoy the arboretum’s trees and heritage.

Deacon Blue Forest Live dates announced

Deacon Blue have announced concerts as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live music series. Performing in spectacular woodland locations around the country the shows will be their only headline shows in England this summer.

Britain’s forest area hits almost 3m hectares

The Forestry Commission has published new National Forest Inventory data showing that Great Britain has about two and a half times more forest and woodland than it had 100 years ago.

The National Arboretum prepares for a new start

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire will turn over a new leaf this summer with the completion of the first phase of its exciting redevelopment project.

Volunteers reach five year landmark

On Sunday 4 March, the Woodland Workout volunteer group that work in the Forestry Commission’s Osgodby Wood will be marking their five year anniversary, with two of the original volunteers leading the celebrations.

New approach allows more people to volunteer in ancient woods

The Forestry Commission is launching a range of volunteering opportunities at their woodlands in the Silverstone area in order to allow more people to learn new skills, make friends, keep fit and help maintain these historic woodlands.

Little Mix Forest Live concerts announced

Pop sensations Little Mix are the latest act to announce their participation in the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert calendar where bands perform in spectacular woodland locations around the country each summer.

The Gruffalo comes home to the deep dark wood to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the ever-green tale

Themed activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and a big birthday forest picnic coming to a forest near you.


Families across England are invited into a deep dark wood near their home this year to celebrate The Gruffalo's 15th anniversary with characters from the world-famous picture books.

Nationwide Forest Discovery Day celebrates woods and forests during English Tourism Week

Forestry Commission England will host Forest Discovery Day on Sunday 30 March, during English Tourism Week, to invite more people to explore all that England’s woods and forests have to offer.

Forestry Commission launches competition to find Forest Rangers of the future

The Forestry Commission in the South of England has launched an exciting new competition to give young people locally the chance to be a Forestry Commission Ranger for the day. Each winner will also receive a £100 voucher for Go Ape Tree Top Adventure and a two night stay on one of 15 Camping in the Forest sites.

More colours, less crowds this spring at Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum may be known for its dazzling leaf colour during autumn, but this spring its team will be encouraging visitors to enjoy the wide spectrum of colours that its flowering trees and shrubs have to offer from March to May, through a range of events and trails.

Suede announce forest gigs for the summer

Britpop pioneers Suede have announced gigs this summer as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert series where an eclectic mix of acts perform in magnificent woodland locations around the country.

Conifer Capers at Westonbirt Arboretum!

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum will be offering families the chance to explore some fascinating, useful and very beautiful trees this February, when it holds its Conifer Capers event from 18 – 20 February.

Have the Forestry Commission found a way to banish the winter blues?

The Forestry Commission claim to have found the perfect way to banish the winter blues with a range of volunteering opportunities that give people the chance to get outdoors, make new friends and start to improve their fitness.

Katherine Jenkins East Anglian concert announced for the summer

Superstar diva, Katherine Jenkins OBE has announced a special concert this summer, appearing in Thetford Forest as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live 2014 concert calendar.

James Blunt announces forest gig

Multi award-winning artist, James Blunt has announced he will be playing in the beautiful setting of Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live annual concert series.

Safety first at Whinlatter Forest after the stormy weather

The Forestry Commission team at Whinlatter Forest have been working hard during and after the recent stormy weather in the area.

Clearing up after the stormy weather at Kielder Water and Forest Park

The Forestry Commission team at Kielder Water & Forest Park have been working hard to clear up after the recent stormy weather in the area.

Have your say on Birchden Wood

Join the Forestry Commission’s online forum to discuss ideas for the future management of the toilet block, car park and campsite at Birchden Wood, near Tunbridge Wells.

Café Duo Bid Farewell to Haughmond’s Hikers

Bernie and Ellen Whittle of Pine Tops Café at the Forestry Commission’s Haughmond Hill will be marking the end of an era when they hang up their aprons and retire in the spring.