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News releases - 2016

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

Become a Global Explorer at Westonbirt this half term!

Explore trees from around the world at Forestry Commission England’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt this half term.


Children can embark on their own plant hunting expedition on the summer family trail [from 1 June – 31 Aug] taking on a series of skilled challenges to achieve the esteemed Plant Hunter title!

Get ready, get steady and go to Forestry Commission England sites this June to get active in the Stick Man Games

Get ready, get set and go! Families across England are invited to get active at Forestry Commission England’s Stick Man Games. Based on the much-loved book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the Stick Man themed games give families the chance to take part in a range of forest fun sporting activities with their favourite book character.

It’s not game over for kids today, as gadgets lose out to the great outdoors

Playing pooh sticks, building dens and exploring the forest are still more popular with kids than TV, gaming and tablets, according to a new survey – proving the digital revolution is still no match for the lure of the great outdoors.

Alert for caterpillar pest in oak trees

People in parts of London, northern Surrey and West Berkshire are being reminded to look out for and report caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (OPM), which are now damaging oak trees in the area.

First nest on new platform at Kielder Water and Forest Park

This week it was confirmed that a pair of Ospreys have laid eggs on a new nesting platform at Kielder Water and Forest Park. Installed in 2015 by a Kielder Wildlife Ranger, the 4th platform was visited by a pair of birds in 2015 but there was no nest established until now.

Happy 10th Birthday for the Kielder Vintage and Classic Vehicle Show

The Kielder Vintage and Classic Vehicle Show is celebrating its 10th anniversary with this year’s show taking place on 8 May. Over the past decade, over 1500 historic vehicles have been on display in the show from motorbikes to Minis, and trucks to tractors.

People power brings Spring time boost to Bedgebury

Visitors to the Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, near Goudhurst, Kent, can expect to see further improvements to the site and facilities this Spring following the combined efforts of volunteers over three very busy and successful days of volunteering activities at the popular outdoor visitor attraction.