Forestry operations at Cardinham Woods

Updated 14th September 2021

Cardinham Woods is a working forest producing sustainable timber. We are working here from November 2021 until Easter 2022. This page provides more information about the work we're doing.

What is happening?

We are thinning trees in the Tawnamoor area of the forest, across an area equivalent to around 23 football pitches. Cardinham Woods is classified as a Plantation on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) which means that we are managing it back to the way it would have been several hundred years ago. This process will take many years.

At this time, we are removing selected conifer and broadleaf trees to give the remaining trees more space to grow to their potential, and let more light onto the forest floor. This improves the habitat for ground flora and the wildlife it supports.

Because Cardinham Woods is a PAWS, we won’t replant conifers in this area. We will manage the site to help native broadleaf species such as oak and birch to regenerate naturally.

Can I still visit Cardinham Woods?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. Cardinham Woods is open to visitors throughout the forestry work, except for 10-21 January. While the forest is open, several trails will be closed or diverted to allow us to work nearby. Please follow all signs, diversions, and closures at all times. These are for your safety, whether or not you can see or hear us working. This will help us to finish working as quickly as possible. Forestry work is very hazardous. A falling tree can weigh several tonnes and hit the ground at nearly 60mph. If a harvesting machine chainsaw snaps, it can fly through the forest like a bullet.

What about the wildlife?

Well managed forests support more wildlife, and harvesting trees is an important part of a sustainable forest lifecycle. Before we start any forestry work, we carry out thorough ecological surveys to check for species such as birds, mammals, rodents, invertebrates, flora, and fungi. For example, Cardinham Woods is home to dormice, bats, many species of birds, and several rare spiders.

We consider these findings against complex factors including tree health, how the ground slopes, soil condition, and likely rainfall when planning work that will support our long-term management plan. While working, we continue to check for wildlife and will adapt, pause or suspend work if we find any animal that must be protected.

Where can I find out more?

You can read our full management plan for Cardinham Woods in the Cardinham Forest Plan.