Forestry Commission Consultation Hub

The Forestry Commission is at the heart of the progress being made in protecting, improving and expanding our woodlands and forests, and enhancing local communities and economy.

Here you will find the latest topics that the Forestry Commission is seeking views on - have your say!

Open Consultations

  • Lydford Forest Plan Questionnaire

    The Forest Plan for Forestry England's Lydford Forest is due for renewal. This plan covers Lydford forest, the Brentor woods (Asheltor, Cole's and Langstone Woods) and Burley Down Woods. Forest Plans define our long-term vision for a woodland or a collection of woodlands, and set out how...

    Closes 13 October 2023

  • Wigan Forests Plan Consultation

    The Wigan Forest Plan sets out the long term management objectives for Viridor, Byrom Wood, Windy Bank, Colliers Wood and Barlows Farm, collectively known as the Wigan Forest Plan and covers 328ha of woodland that lies 7km south of Wigan and 21km west of Manchester. A forest plan...

    Closes 14 October 2023

  • Hondslough Wood – Delamere Forest Extension

    Forestry England’s Woodland Creation Team would like to share with you and invite your comment on our exciting plans for a proposed new woodland as an extension to Delamere Forest. Please see the plans for the woodland in the 'related' documents below.

    Closes 22 October 2023

Closed Consultations

  • Broom’s Cross – new planting

    Forestry England’s Woodland Creation Team would like to share with you and invite your comment on our exciting plans for proposed new planting at Broom’s Cross, Lunt.  Please see the plans for the planting in the 'related' documents below.

    Closed 19 September 2023

  • Ingleby Greenhow Forest Plan consultation

    Forestry England's Yorkshire District is consulting on a newly revised forest plan for Ingleby Greenhow. This project covers nature resilience, managing the ecological cultural and heritage values of this area, economy benefits and people.

    Closed 8 September 2023

  • Kilburn and Oldstead Forest Plan

    Forestry England's Yorkshire District is consulting on a newly revised forest plan for Kilburn and Olstead. This project covers nature resilience, managing the ecological cultural and heritage values of this area, economy benefits and people.

    Closed 31 August 2023

  • Sandhutton Forest Plan

    Forestry England's Yorkshire District is consulting on a newly revised forest plan for Sandhutton. This project covers: Increase the diversity of the age structure and improve landscape impact by maintaining current felling patterns. Enhance external and internal landscape edges,...

    Closed 31 July 2023

  • Dymock Woods Forest Plan

    The Forest Plan for Forestry England's Dymock Woods is due for renewal. Forest Plans define our long-term vision for a woodland or a collection of woodlands, and set out how our management will move towards achieving this vision over the next ten years. We...

    Closed 21 July 2023

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

The external consultation for the Dymock Forest Plan was open for five weeks in June / July 2023. Posters were put up at the entrances to the woods, directing people to an online survey. In addition, emails were sent specifically to organisations and individuals who we felt have an interest in how the forest is managed eg parish councils, local interest groups.

You said

The majority of the 35 respondents to the survey describe themselves as forest users and neighbours, but there were also comments from Natural England, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), a few volunteers and some of the supporters of DyFRA – Dymock Forest Rural Action.

We did

97% of respondents said that the forest plan addresses their needs and interests (or those of their organisation) ‘very well’, ‘well’ or ‘ok’, with plenty of positive feedback:


“Wonderful to see the wood so well looked after,” and “it’s very heartening to know how thoughtfully this precious, beautiful ancient woodland is being managed”.

Forestry England’s response:

    • Thank you – it’s always good to know that people appreciate our hard work!


“Very thorough woodland management plan… many aspects considered with clear objectives” (comment from Natural England), and “the plan is clear, well-designed and gives all the key information required”.

Forestry England’s response:

    • Thanks again. A great deal of time has been spent trying to balance the functions of the woodlands, so that they deliver for people, nature and, where appropriate, economy, now and into the future.


Some respondents expressed concern about overnight parking, flytipping and motorbikes.

Forestry England’s response:

  • We are aware of occasional issues of antisocial behaviour and are happy to put up temporary signs in the worst affected areas to try to discourage this. Please do get in touch to report issues so that we know where notices should be placed.


Some people asked questions about the weed in the lake, and made valid comments about the potential for watercourses to have a role in natural flood management.

Forestry England’s response:

  • We removed invasive weed from the lake in 2018, which was quite a complex and potentially damaging operation, so we will keep a close eye on the situation, but won’t undertake this again unless absolutely necessary.
  • Regarding our treatment of watercourses, we will gradually clear mature trees from the banks, to encourage regeneration of riparian species such as willow. We will leave woody debris in streams (where it is safe and appropriate to do so) to slow the flow and to encourage the development of wet woodland. This has already been done in the Orchid Reserve.


GWT and DyFRA highlighted the need for connectivity in the landscape, asking whether we could promote a land acquisition policy to join up fragments of woodland in the area.

Forestry England’s response:

  • While we wholly recognise the importance of connectivity in the landscape, we are limited in what we can do to influence planting of trees or hedges or other wildlife corridors to connect pieces of land that we do not own or manage. However, we are happy to consider collaborations if we are approached with proposals for landscape-scale projects.


Other less common questions and comments have been answered individually where an email address was provided.

We asked

Consultation for the Surrey Hills Forest Plan was open for six weeks from late January to the beginning of March 2023. We emailed a group of consultees and put posters up at entrances to our Surrey Hills woods, directing people to this online survey.

You said

There were 31 responses to the Surrey Hills Forest Plan survey. 26 respondents answered question 1 (do you agree that the plan achieves an appropriate balance of social, economic, and environmental objectives for the woodland?). Of these 26 respondents, 16 answered yes to question 1, while 15 answered no.

The majority of those who disagreed with question 1 feel that Forestry England need to consider the needs of mountain bikers more, although most recognised the importance of the woodlands to other groups such as horse-riders and walkers. Other replies expressed views on the use of native tree species (both for and against), the potential for conflicting use of the woods by different user groups, and on their opinion that the plan needed to talk more about biodiversity management.

Of the 31 responses to question 2 (how well does the plan address your needs and interests or those of your organisation?), roughly two thirds of respondents answered OK, Well or Very Well, while the remainder answered Poor or Very Poor. Although generally positive, the majority of respondents still have concerns about representation of the views of mountain bikers, and conflicts between user groups similar to the answers to question 1.

We did

Forestry England’s response:
Our Forest Plans are strategic documents, and not intended to deal with site-specific recreation management issues (other than to show our awareness of them where necessary). Our Land Management and Recreation Teams will continue to engage with different user-groups about how we manage our woods for their benefit.

In areas of Planted Ancient Woodland with non-native trees, we will continue to gradually restore to native species as dictated by Government policy, and by the need to make our woods more resilient to climate change.

We asked

For your responses and feedback to the draft 2023 Grizedale Forest Plan. Parish councils were notified for comment and shared the plan amongst residents, and posters were placed in car parks, forest entrances and the visitor’s centre.

You said

Our consultation received 22 responses from members of the public raising a wide range of topics. Positive comments included praise for the quick clean-up of key routes following storm Arwen, and appreciation for the forest environment we manage. Constructive criticism and negative comments were mostly regarding recreation infrastructure; however some forest management concerns were also raised.  

We did

Comments regarding recreation infrastructure in the forest.

Forest plans don’t directly address recreation – they are land management documents for long-term forest management and resilience.

Many comments from mountain bikers regarding condition of existing infrastructure, potential for provision of more trails and working with other groups, and the bike shop.

Comments relating to cycling infrastructure have been passed to the relevant recreation staff. The North Face trail has been closed following the winter storms and plans are being made to reinstate and enhance this offer in 2023-24, taking into account the views of customers and our onsite bike hire provider.

Some comments drawing attention to the omission of horse riders from the plan

The forest plan has been updated to include reference to horse riders as well as walkers and cyclists. Horse riders should be reassured that Grizedale will continue to offer over 80km of roads and paths, and 32km of bridleway open for use by horse riders. For more information on horse riding in Grizedale, please see the following webpage:

Comments about potential for improved provision for motorsport and vehicle users on unsurfaced county roads (UCRs).

Motorsport events in the forest are managed through a national agreement between Forestry England and Motorsport UK. Please contact your relevant Motorsport UK club if you have an idea for additional events or improvements for motorsport in the forest in the future.

UCRs present in the forest are managed by the local highway’s authority and concerns about their condition or potential changes to these roads should be directed to Cumbria County Council, or Westmorland and Furness Council from 1st April 2023.

Concern about damage to potentially rare roadside vegetation

We welcome any information members of the public may have about interesting flora or fauna in the forest. If you have spotted a species of interest, we would encourage you to record this find using the iNaturalist application as part of our ‘Forest Find’ project, this way the species found can be recorded and protected as appropriate. For more information on the Forest Find project, see the following webpage:

Concerns about Forestry England’s deer management and squirrel management strategies

Deer numbers can become too large for their habitat to support them. Grazing by large populations of deer reduces plants and animal diversity in the forest which can in turn affect soils and release carbon. Deer can also damage or kill young trees by damaging bark and lower branches, preventing forests from regenerating.

We manage deer populations to look after our forests sustainably. Our highly skilled wildlife rangers replace the role of Britain’s missing predators by sensitively and humanely controlling deer populations in woods. Our expert staff use trained working dogs to track and find deer.

For more information on Forestry England's deer policy, please see the following webpage:

Similarly grey squirrels represent a risk to restocking operations, and also have a significant impact on woodland biodiversity, and in particular the native red squirrel. As such Forestry England staff work with Red Squirrels Northern England to humanely control the population of grey squirrel in the forest.

Concerns about suspected trail hunting

Forestry England suspended trail hunting in the nation’s forests in 2020, and this activity is currently under review.  

If you suspect unauthorised hunting is taking place in the forest or on land we manage, please visit the following webpage:

Concerns about the use of chemicals in the forest

At Grizedale forest we make use of fallow periods between felling and restock to minimise the need for use of insecticides, however in some instances the targeted application of pesticides is necessary to ensure successful planting takes place.  

The use of chemicals in forestry settings is closely regulated. Forestry England operations are planned using the principles set out in the UK Forestry Standard, and are certified against the UK Woodland Assurance Standard by an independent auditor. For more information about how we apply chemicals, please see section 6.7 of the UK Forestry Standard, and Section 3.4 of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard.