The nation’s forests, car parks and essential facilities are open to you for local outdoor recreation and exercise - read our coronavirus guidance.
Ground preparation for Rushy Knowe tree planting in Kielder Forest

New woodland in Kielder Forest

Rushy Knowe is a 145-hectare site in Northumberland where we are planting 100 hectares of new woodland and supporting a variety of habitats. There will be areas of protected open habitat, creating a mosaic of glades and peatlands amongst the woodland.

Working with nature

To plan how we use this site, we have pioneered a natural capital assessment tool. This allows us to test different scenarios, including the type of woodland planted, to meet a range of benefits such as: climate regulation (carbon sequestration), timber production, priority habitat protection, recreation and impact on the landscape. We are planting a mixture of conifer and native broadleaf woodland to meet a balanced range of these benefits, for the enjoyment of the forest into the future.

As the woodland grows and develops, a variety of habitats will support a range of wildlife. We will improve the condition of protected habitat and grazing livestock may help to maintain the open grassland at Rushy Knowe.

Red squirrel on a branch
Photo credit: Simon Bound
Three girls walking and laughing

Working with the community

Working with local people along the way, we are providing opportunities for public access and recreation in a woodland for everyone. 

After the public consultation process, we adapted the plans to ensure the stunning view across Kielder Water is maintained; an iconic view to be enjoyed.

Latest news

June 2020: 

We have now completed Phase 1 at Rushy Knowe, where we have planted approximately 200,000 trees.

We started planting in 2019, the year we celebrated 100 years of forestry. Thank you to our dedicated staff and volunteers for helping us create this fantastic new woodland. 

Phase 2 will begin in 2025 when we will plant up to a further 45,000 trees.

The story so far

Catch up on where the project started and what we've done so far.

Note: the footage below was filmed before social distancing measures came into effect.

More information

Close up of boot planting small tree
Discover how we're growing the nation's forests.
Tiny trees at tree nursery
Discover how we grow our future forests from seed.
Child being spun around playing in the forest
Be the first to receive news about seasonal events, days out, wildlife stories and activities for all ages.