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Current forestry operations

Updated 9th June 2020

Felling trees

A key part of our work is actively managing the land to make sure the local woodlands that we know and love can thrive for many years to come. There is often a perception that tree felling is bad, but it’s a vital part of good woodland management. Harvesting trees provides the wood that we all use in our daily lives and promotes healthy forests.

It’s easy to focus on tree felling, but that’s only one part of the cycle of growing trees. Over the last five years we have planted over 100,000 trees here in the New Forest, carefully matching the right species to the right location to help its chances of growing and thriving. 

Sometimes the New Forest’s rare and special habitats need our help to keep them in good condition and in some cases this requires removing trees to restore them. The country needs trees to help us combat climate change, but we also need to protect our most precious wildlife and habitats.  Choosing to restore these special habitats in the New Forest makes sense because the habitat’s plants and the system of livestock grazing needed to maintain the habitat is already here.  We have to be sure that we have the right trees in the right places.  This is why we are actively seeking to expand and replant our forests across the nation and focus restoration of the rare open habitats within the New Forest.

Current work areas include:

Growing trees for home-grown timber means that they have to be managed all year round.  Warning signs will be in place around the work sites and it’s important that you pay attention to signs your own safety, that of others.

  • Now some trees have been thinned in Wilverley Inclosure, the timber will be extracted throughout June and July, please look out for large vehicles moving on site. Also, there will be repairs to the gravel tracks to improve access within the Inclosure.
  • Harvesting is almost completed at Milkham, with timber extraction expected to continue during June and July.
  • Thinning of some trees is expected to start in Dame Slough Inclosure from mid-June until mid-July. There will be gravel track maintenance taking place here during June.
  • Ongoing roadside tree safety work is taking place across many Forest roads to make trees safe for road users.

A place for everyone to enjoy

Forestry England provides sustainable managed woodlands and thinning the trees regularly is a key element of good woodland management.  It provides opportunities to open up of shaded and wet tracks, making them more accessible to people on foot, and benefits wildlife including valuable pollinating species. It will be noticeable where machinery has been, however work to repair tracks will take place as soon as possible after all tree felling has finished.