Growing the future | For wildlife

white-tailed eagle in flight
Photo credit: Ainsley Bennett

Our plan for wildlife

Our vision is that the nation’s forests will provide the most valuable places for wildlife to thrive and expand in England.

The nation’s forests are an unrivalled national asset

They are critical to the country’s response in this time of crisis for nature. We are positive about the difference we can make. A quarter of a million hectares of land of breathtaking diversity make up the nation’s forests which provide valuable, high-quality, sustainably managed habitats for wildlife in forests and woodlands, grasslands, heaths, wetlands and our internationally-renowned arboreta. 

The rich, diverse and connected habitats in the nation’s forests will continue to be improved and enhanced by our sustainable forest and land management.

We will build on our success

Our people and partners will use skilled and professional management to improve continually the condition of precious habitats in our care. We will lead the development of fully functioning ecosystems, where species can establish, thrive and spread across landscapes.

We will also continue to reintroduce wildlife to support and grow the abundance of species flourishing in the nation’s forests. We will showcase this exciting biodiversity story to champion nature, build opportunities for deeper learning and create a sense of wonder for all.

Pine marten standing on tree stump looking left

We will grow for the future

We will harness the power of nature, establishing a network of wild areas within the nation’s forests. 

Acting now means

  • identifying potential key sites in our working forests where we can use more wilding activities, such as low-density grazing and more meandering watercourses.
  • continuing action to protect, improve and build the resilience of our most special habitats, including ancient woodlands and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  • reintroducing and translocating plant and animal species to support the rich ecosystems in the nation’s forests.

What you will see in the next 5 years

  • working with partners, we will deliver at least 6,000 more hectares where we integrate wilding activities in our productive forests.
  • using habitat enhancements, we will support and improve the condition of our exceptional sites, including ancient woodlands, open habitats, wetlands and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
  • we will forge partnerships to take forward species reintroductions and wildlife recovery at a local level.

Download our biodiversity action plan

Further information

Two friends walking on a path

Connecting people to our forests

Single sapling on the forest floor

Building resilient forests

Beaver in pond surrounded by trees
25 February 2020

Discover how we return missing species to our landscapes.

Staff in waders walking through bog
23 July 2020

Explore the wonderful and wet world of bog habitats within the nation's forests and why they play a vital role for climate and biodiversity.