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News releases - 2016

Mixed fortunes for New Forest bloodsuckers

Hallowe’en is traditionally a time when creepy creatures thrive as darkness descends but for bloodsuckers in the New Forest life is not so rosy.


With three jaws each containing 100 sharp teeth and the ability to consume up to 10 times their body weight in blood, it is easy to see how the leech has earned its spine-chilling reputation.

Julia Grant appointed Forestry Commissioner

Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of Julia Grant as a Forestry Commissioner for England.

Colour yourself happy this autumn half-term in England’s National Woods and Forests

In a recent survey carried out by Forestry Commission England a staggering 96% of people said that beautiful autumn colours improve their mood and to celebrate nature’s most colourful season Forestry Commission England has created a ‘Colour me Happy’ trail to help you discover the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of autumn, along with lots of fun activities for families this half-term.

Rick Astley announces Forest Live gigs

Rick Astley is the first artist to announce dates for 2017 as part of Forest Live, the summer concert series promoted by the Forestry Commission where acts perform in spectacular woodland locations around the country.

Celebrating the Centenary of the Cyril Hart Arboretum

On Saturday 17th September the family and friends of Cyril Hart celebrated this most auspicious event joining together with Forestry Commission staff past and present, the Forest of Dean Verderers, past Deputy Surveyors, the Arboretum Volunteers and many others who have contributed to the arboretum in many different ways.

Exciting promenade theatre experience comes to Bedgebury for Halloween

If you’re looking for a completely new theatrical experience then the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest, near Goudhurst, Kent, will be hosting an interactive theatre show with a difference this Halloween.

Colour me happy – the chemistry of autumn colours

In a recent survey carried out by Forestry Commission England a staggering 96% of people said that beautiful autumn colours improve their mood, but why do the leaves change colour? What makes a maple leaf turn fiery red, a beech become golden or an ironwood transform through a rainbow of colours to deep plum purple?

Taster day for over 55s at Haldon Forest Park

Calling all over 55s, the Forestry Commission’s Haldon Forest Park is working with Age UK to host a taster day aimed at people aged 55 and over. On 21 September, between 10am and 4pm, there will be a range of low cost or free taster activities for people in this age group to try out and the café will be offering some delicious titbits taste.

New Forest fungi - a feast for your eyes

This autumn, the Forestry Commission is launching a new campaign to highlight the importance of the New Forest for fungi, and to appeal to people to support a ‘no-picking’ code on the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

First ever organisation-wide Natural Capital Account published

Forest Enterprise England, the land management agency of the Forestry Commission, is the first organisation to publish an organisation-wide Natural Capital Account that begins to quantify the full value of the services provided by the natural assets on its entire 254,000 hectare landholding.

Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 returns to Grizedale Forest

The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year returns this year to one of the most unique outdoor arts and exhibition spaces in the country – Grizedale Forest located in the heart of The Lake District.

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.