Forestry operations at Haldon Forest Park

Updated 29th September 2022

We will be working in the Bullers Hill area of Haldon Forest Park during autumn 2022. This page provides more information about the work we are doing and why.

What is happening?

Some of the trees in the Bullers Hill part of the forest have reached maturity and are ready to be cut down for timber. These areas will be clear felled to remove all the trees at once. A small number of dead trees will be left standing to provide habitat for invertebrates and bats, and perches for birds of prey. Over the coming decades, we will then manage these areas to keep them open and restore them back to the scarce lowland heath habitat which is characteristic of Haldon Forest’s Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We are also carrying out some thinning, which is when we remove selected trees to give the remaining ones more space to grow. Thinning also benefits the forest ecosystem, by allowing more light and warmth onto the forest floor. This supports ground flora and benefits wildlife.

The timber that we grow here is certified as being sustainably produced. This high-quality UK grown timber is highly sought after.

Can I still visit Haldon Forest Park?

The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public, our staff, and contractors safe. Haldon Forest Park is open for you to visit, but we may have to close or divert the Spicers and Kiddens Trails at times to allow us to work safely 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. We will be working hard to minimise disruption and your support 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 are able to 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, Haldon Forest is home to important populations of reptiles, butterflies, and birds. We consider our survey 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 necessary.

Where can I find out more?

You can read our full management plan for Haldon Forest in the Haldon Forest Management Plan. If you have any questions about our work, you can email us at westengland@forestryengland.uk.