Forestry operations at Haldon Forest Park

Forestry operations at Haldon Forest Park

Updated 1st March 2024

We will be working in the Spicers area of Haldon Forest Park during winter 2023. This page provides more information about the work we are doing and why.

What is happening?

Across this part of the forest where trees are growing densely, we will be thinning them. This means removing selected trees to use for sustainable wood products and leaving the remaining ones more space to grow to their potential. Thinning also allows more light to reach the forest floor, which improves the habitat for ground flora and the wildlife it supports.

In one small area close to the Haldon Ridge Road, we are removing all the trees. This area is next to some of Haldon's special lowland heath habitat which is important for protected species such as nightjar and adder. We will manage this newly felled area to become lowland heath and extend the habitat area. This type of heath is characteristic of Haldon Forest’s Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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 cycle trails at times to allow us to work safely nearby. This will be clearly signposted when you arrive. Please follow signs, diversions and closures at all times. These are for your safety, whether or not you can see or hear us working. We try to minimise disruption to your visit 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 Park 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. We are doing this work outside sensitive breeding times but we continue to check for wildlife while working. We 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