Our work at Cardinham Woods


Cardinham Woods is an unexpected oasis of peace on the outskirts of Bodmin. Popular with walkers, runners, and cyclists, the forest extends across the valley slopes above Cardinham Water and has been managed by Forestry England for more than 100 years.

The forest is cared for by a recreation team, who ensure a warm welcome to high quality facilities, while the area forestry team oversees the health of the woodland, habitats for wildlife, and production of sustainable timber for the UK market.

Group of Forestry England staff stood smiling in front of grey Forestry England van

Welcoming you to Cardinham Woods

Our team of five is small but mighty and can be found in the Ranger's Hut near the car park entrance. We are on hand every day to help you find the best trails for your group, answer your questions, and make sure your all-terrain mobility scooter hire goes smoothly. When we aren't in the Ranger's Hut, we are making sure the forest is clean and safe for visitors and wildlife, emptying bins, litter picking trails, cleaning toilets, and much more.

Facility maintenance

Our unpredictable Cornish weather and 250,000 visitors every year keep us busy with ongoing maintenance to make sure our trails and facilities are safe and enjoyable. We can often be found out in the forest digging holes, replacing fence posts and waymarkers, dealing with trees blown down in high winds, and keeping drainage channels flowing to help the trails dry. We work with our civil engineering team on a continuous programme of trail maintenance and improvements. 

Sustainable forest management at Cardinham Woods

Cardinham Woods is more than a place for a beautiful walk. Since 1922, Forestry England has been managing the forested slopes of the Cardinham Valley as a productive timber forest. In the early part of the 20th century, Cardinham Woods was planted with productive conifer trees to help supply the nation with essential timber after the First World War. These days, Forestry England doesn’t just look after Cardinham Woods for renewable wood, we are working to restore native trees and plant species as well as providing amazing places to walk and make memories. These are all part of the international standards of sustainability that guide how we care for the forest.

We are keepers of time

Cardinham Woods is classified as Plantations on Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS). This means that the woodland’s characteristics show that the forest has been ‘treed’ since at least 1600AD. Under a government policy called Keepers of Time we are gradually restoring more native trees species and their associated plants and wildlife. Over many decades, this will increase the value of Cardinham Woods to people, nature, climate and the economy.

A lager yellow harvester holds a felled log in a metal grip

Wildlife and habitats at Cardinham

Cardinham Woods is a mosaic of important habitats for mammals, reptiles, birds, and lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Caring for nature is central to our sustainable forest management. Well-managed forests are not only more accessible for people, but they support more wildlife.

Cardinham Woods has many important species populations, including butterfly, bird, and spiders. The forest is also an important place to find plants such as XXX which are connected to Cardinham's history as an ancient woodland. Cardinham's unique character shapes our long-term management, which includes caring for and creating habitats. This might mean widening forest rides to provide more sunshine and suitable plants for butterflies, or GIVE ANOTHER EXAMPLE.

This means that, alongside our visitors, nature thrives in the forest from invertebrates and fungi, to mammals and reptiles.