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Current forestry operations

Updated 10th September 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.

  • work is expected to start at the end of September to remove large conifer trees from an area on the western-side of Perrywood/Ironshill Inclosure. All native tree large trees and some non-natives will be retained along the boundary of the ride edge on the western-side of the former Inclosure. This area was previously thinned and this is the final felling operation to return the area back to open habitat. The second phase will be in an area on the eastern-side of the same inclosure that is currently fenced off to allow for the trees to naturally regenerate. We shall be removing the mature conifers from within this area and thinning out some of the younger trees to provide more light to those growing below their sheltering canopy.
  • We will begin felling work in Fletchers Thorns Inclosure,  near Blackwater, from 28 September, removing some of the Corsican pine trees that were planted there in 1977 and birch trees, in order to allow the area to go back to open forest. The long-term plan for this area (about the size of two football fields) is to create new links that bring together the open forest and realign the fencing so that the area can be grazed by Commoners’ livestock.
  • 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.