Delamere Forest development project: answers to frequently asked questions

Updated 3rd December 2020

We’ve answered some of the common questions we have been asked about the project so far and will continue to update and add to the questions as the project progresses. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please send us an email to delamere@forestryengland.uk

What are the timescales for the development work?

Work on the new Forestry England visitor hub is in its final stages with the new welcome building, café, Delamere Forest Bike Hire  and car park all finished. As the project progresses further we’ll keep you updated via our Delamere Forest Facebook page.

Work is also well underway on the new Forest Holidays location, with the new multi user trail up to the location already open for all forest users. You can find more details about this part of the project at the Forest Holidays Delamere web page.

What does the plan include?     

  • A new visitor hub with a larger café
  • Improved toilet facilities
  • Significant landscaping improvements
  • New and improved trails and bridleways,
  • A multi-use fitness, health and well-being trail
  • Nature play areas
  • A new car park with around 300 spaces and improved overflow parking
  • 67 Forest Holidays cabins, bringing inward investment and delivering recreational, economic and environmental benefits
  • Delamere Forest Bike Hire (managed by Tracs)

What are the benefits to the Forest?

The creation of a brand new Forestry England visitor hub with facilities better suited for demand, which include toilets, café, a new visitor information point and cycle hire.

There’s improved car parking, improved traffic flow and a new access road which will separate vehicles from forest users coming into the visitor hub area. There will also be new pedestrian, cycle and bridleway trails. There will be a new natural play area and visual improvements.

Forest Holidays will bring a significant local economic benefit through visitor spend and a large increase in job opportunities in the area.

The new multi-use fitness and well-being trail at our Whitefield site, funded by Forest Holidays, will offer visitors of all ages the chance to have fun and get fit in a natural environment.

What work has already been completed?

We have completed the Delamere Forest Café with outdoor seating area, toilets including accessible facilities and family rooms, the new Tracs bike hire shop and significant car parking improvements including a convenient ANPR system. 

How do I find out about any diversions at the Forest Holidays location?

There is currently a diversion in place on the bridleway around the future Forest Holidays location, to give forest users a safe alternative route while current works are going on. Here’s a map showing the route.

 Signage will be updated on site throughout the build and the Forest Holidays team are working with the community to ensure local routes are enhanced

Are you cutting down trees as part of the work? 

While some trees will need to be felled as part of the work, more trees will be planted. This includes comprehensive new landscaping around the visitor centre area. Our approach is to diversify the woodland, meaning there will be more new and varied trees planted in key areas as part of the project.

All Forest Holidays locations are designed and built to have minimal impact on the forest. In Delamere, new tree planting forms an important part of project, designed to protect and enhance the existing woodland, creating a more mixed woodland habitat. All tree works are in line with best practice as set out in Woodland, Landscape and Habitat Management plans and these are being implemented with the forest operations team and the local Forestry England ecologist to ensure they fit with overall forest plans. Find out more about the building process here.

How will you protect wildlife in the forest?

The project has been planned to enhance and broaden habitats considerably, encouraging and supporting wildlife. Around the cabin location, the diversification of the woodland will create an under-story of native woodland trees and flora creating rich environments for forest species. Extensive ecological surveys were carried out prior to the planning process and an ecological management plan will be followed throughout the development to ensure we protect forest wildlife during all building works

Will public access be maintained at the Forest Holidays location? 

Yes, all Forest Holidays locations are open the public. Access may be temporarily restricted on some areas during the build for health and safety reasons but access to the location for forest users will remain when the location is operational, whilst other features in the plan will enhance access throughout the whole forest.

Are there going to be new trails?

Yes, there will be a new multi-user trail between Kingswood in the north of the forest and the new visitor hub, part of which is already open. Many of the existing trails are being upgraded and there are also some additional sections of blue graded cycle trail planned for the forest.

What will happen to the events space and parking for events?

The existing events space will remain and it will no longer be used for car parking. Parking for events will be catered for in the extended car park and overflow area along with the existing field parking for the larger events.

What are the benefits for Delamere residents?

There will be improved pedestrian, cycle and horse access and a new modern visitor welcome building, including a cafe and other facilities on the doorstep.

Are there be improvements to the main driveway?

Yes, there will be significant improvements included separating vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and horses with separate access from the redesigned junctions with Station Road. The access road for vehicles will be widened and the multi-user trail for pedestrians, cyclists and horses from the station to the visitor hub will be upgraded.