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

  • Ennerdale Phytophthora Ramorum Public Engagement 2022

    During Summer and Autumn 2021 Phytophthora Ramorum was identified across 60 hectares of larch forest at the west end of the Ennerdale valley. To help control the spread of the disease and reduce the risk of a variant jumping into another tree species Forestry England is required to fell or kill... More

    Closes 8 February 2022

Closed Consultations

  • PPE Wearers Survey

    A group from across Forestry England have begun to work together to look at how we can lead and encourage the wider industry to improve provision of female-fit PPE. Notes for completion: · The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete. · Results will be... More

    Closed 31 December 2021

  • Nettleton Forest Plan

    We would like to invite feedback on the proposed Nettleton Forest Plan. The Nettleton Forest Plan Area (FPA) covers 79.2ha in total and comprises three adjacent woodlands: Big Wood, Long Wood and Black Wood. It is situated in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire,... More

    Closed 20 December 2021

  • Kingscote Forest Plan

    The Forest Plan for Kingscote Wood, near Horsley in Gloucestershire, 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... More

    Closed 21 November 2021

  • Friston Forest Plan 2021 - 2031

    Forest plans define the long term vision for a woodland or a collection of woodlands and set out how management will move towards achieving this vision over the next ten years. We would like to invite feedback on the proposed Friston Forest plan. This online questionnaire forms part of... More

    Closed 15 November 2021

  • Rendlesham and Tunstall Forest Plan 2021-2031

    Forest plans define the long term vision for a woodland or a collection of woodlands and set out how management will move towards achieving this vision over the next ten years. We would like to invite feedback on the proposed Rendlesham and Tunstall forest plan. This online... More

    Closed 26 October 2021

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 Kingscote forest plan was open for five weeks in October / November 2021. Posters were put up at the entrances to the wood, directing people to an online survey.

The Forestry England planner and forester held an informal drop-in public consultation session at Kingscote in early November, which was a great opportunity for us to meet some of the woodland users and answer questions about the plan.

You said

The majority of the 18 respondents to the online survey describe themselves as neighbours and walkers. There were also comments from Natural England and a local forestry contractor.

Respondents scored functions of the forest plan (including biodiversity, communities, forest products, and recreation) in terms of importance to them / their organisation. All respondents scored most of the functions as ‘important’ or ‘very important’, and most said that the forest plan addresses their needs and interests ‘very well’ or ‘well’, indicating that this is a woodland that is able to deliver a range of benefits for people and wildlife.

We did

More detail about the responses is provided in the results section of the consultation below.

We asked

The external consultation for Friston was open for six weeks in October / November 2021. Posters were put up at entrances, directing people to an online survey and providing contact details for any further queries.

You said

There were 21 responses in total via the online consultation in addition to several responses from statutory and non-statutory organisations. Overall, the plan was met favourably, with 57% classing it as well or very well addressing their needs. Less than 5% considered it to poorly meet their needs. The primary interests of respondents focussed on woodland ecology and the balance of people and nature.

We did

The responses will be further considered and factored into the plan where possible. Several of the specific suggestions relating to balancing human use of the forest go beyond what the forest plan is designed for; however, these will nonetheless be considered a priority area for discussion and action over the coming months and years. Forestry England is committed to ensuring the sustainable use of the nation's forests and recognises that this often requires active management. Based off the feedback provided from this consultation the management will be reviewed.

This forest plan has now been submitted to the Forestry Commission for further scrutiny and approval.

We asked

The external consultation for Rendlesham and Tunstall was open for 30 days from 26th September 2021-26th October 2021. The public were directed to an online consultation via posters put up across both woodlands, letters posted through the doors of forest residents and social media posts. We directly emailed 35 stakeholders including parish councils to inform them of the consultation. 

The consultation also provided contact details for further queries to be made.

You said

There were 117 responses to the consultation with 98 of those being through the online questionnaire. Overall, the plan was met favourably, with 66% classing it as well or very well addressing their needs.The majority of respondees also felt the plan acheived a balance of social, economic and environmental objectives. The primary interests of the respondants focused on biodiversity and woodland ecology, forest protection and climate change.

The key concerns raised included the following:

  • The main silvicultural management system for the plan area will be through clear fell operations and some belived this meant large areas of woodland would be removed and replaced with heathland.
  • Felling trees reduces carbon sequestration contributing to climate change. Planting more trees was favoured over removal, but where trees are removed consideration for more sensitive management methods was requested.
  • Unclear as to when coupes will be restocked following felling operations.
  • Dominance of conifer as a species in the woodland. Requests to remove conifer and plant more broadleaf were recieved. 
  • Consultation period is too short, questions are ambiguous and face to face meetings should be carried out.
  • Improvement and development of recreation facilities is needed but not covered in the plan. Particular reference to cycle trails, walking trails and play equipment was made. Also requests for better horse box parking facilities in Tunstall.

We did

The responses have been considered and factored into the plan where possible. The key concerns raised above have been addressed in the following way:

  • The plan does not propose to clear fell large areas of woodland and replace it with heathland. The plan area totals 2,514ha and shows over the 10 year approval period that 148ha of conifer woodland will be felled, 64ha in Tunstall and 84ha in Rendlesham. The majority of these areas will be fully restocked after 2 years as detailed in the felling and restock maps within the plan.
  • Further information has been added to the plan on the forest resilience page to explain how using renewable resources such as timber can continue to sequester carbon and help tackle climate change.
  • The plan does state felled areas will be restocked after 2 years but this was previously only in the monioritng table of the plan. This information has now been added on an additional page within the main text.
  • The plan states the use of conifer as a species and clear felling is determined by the SSSI and SPA designation of both woodlands for the Woodlark and Nightjar. However, further information on the importance of conifer in productive forestry has been added to the finance section of the plan.
  • The online consultation followed national policy and provided a 30 day period for comments to be made. A few respondees had strong views the questions were ambiguous. These concerns have been raised with the national team who have contacted all other districts to determine whether this has been raised in any other forest plan consultations across the country. It concluded no other consultation raised these concerns. However, the national team will review the questions used and consider changes.
  • There are 319 parish councils across the East Forest District making face to face meetings impractical. However, due to a number of concerns raised a face to face meeting was held in Tunstall on 6th December 2021, providing the community with the chance to ask questions.
  • Recreation improvements/developments are outside the scope of the forest plan but the comments recieved will be passed to the recreation team for consideration.

This plan has now been sent to Forest Services, the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission, for further consultation before approval. Parish Councils will be informed once the plan is on the public register for comment.