Bristol Woods forest plan

Closed 9 May 2022

Opened 4 Apr 2022

Feedback updated 17 Jun 2022

We asked

The external consultation for the Bristol Woods forest plan was open for five weeks in April / May 2022. Posters at the main entrances to each of the publicly accessible woods directed people to an online survey.

You said

The majority of the 87 respondents to the survey were recreational users of the woods. There was also useful feedback from national and local organisations including Natural England, Historic England and Abbots Leigh Wildlife Group.

Positive comments included:

“I feel the plan addresses natural capital regeneration, species diversity and climate change mitigation very well.”

“It seems to me that the plan is excellent and balances the priorities of biodiversity, timber production and amenity.”

Some concerns were raised - these are listed below.

We did

The actions relating to Leigh Court registered park and garden are a bit vague and it isn’t clear how they have been decided.

Forestry England’s response:

  • A conservation statement for Leigh Court will be produced within the first year of the forest plan. In the meantime, actions are based on discussions with the Forestry England Historic Environment Team and assessments of past management objectives.


People / organisations with an interest in biodiversity provided some really useful feedback:

Forestry England’s response:

  • According to our records, West Tanpit Wood is not recorded as ancient woodland. However, we will investigate the suggestion that it is, and ensure that forest operations and future planting are adjusted if needed. Also, while it may appear that there is a lot of felling due, it is spread over at least 3 decades, and is mostly non-native larch which is potentially at risk of infection from Phytophthora ramorum.
  • Important species and habitats, including the stream in West Tanpit, Tilia cordata in Leigh Woods, and butterflies and other insects will be mentioned more prominently in the plan and the relevant comments from the online survey passed to our ecologist.


There were some questions about pests and diseases.

Forestry England’s response:

  • We will protect coppice regrowth from deer damage wherever possible using temporary fencing.
  • Ash dieback remains a challenge and will require some further felling eg in Ashton Hill, but we hope that by replacing the ash with more diverse mixtures, we will increase the resilience of the Bristol Woods for the future.


There were several comments from mountain bikers:

Forestry England’s response:

  • Forestry England has supported mountain biking for many years. Unfortunately, we cannot allow bike trails everywhere, especially in the fragile habitats of the Leigh Woods SSSI and surrounding areas, where native broadleaves will be planted to replace recently cleared conifers. The local Forestry England team will continue to work closely with Ride Bristol as representatives of the cycling community.


Other comments and suggestions, including offers from potential volunteers have been passed onto the local beat team, who will contact individuals and groups as and when appropriate.


The Forest Plan for Forestry England's Bristol 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 would like to invite you or your organisation to leave some feedback on our proposed revision to the Forest Plan, which is available to download below in PDF format.


Why your views matter

As part of the forest planning process, we carry out consultation with internal and external stakeholders, to ensure that the objectives of the plan are balanced appropriately, and to meet the requirements of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, through which our woodlands are accredited.

This online consultation will be available until Monday 9th May 2022.

We will summarise the feedback and our responses by the end of May in the 'We asked, You said, We did' area. Your comments will be anonymous - you can choose to leave your name, but we won't include it in our summary.


What happens next

Once this online stakeholder engagement has closed, we will examine the feedback and where appropriate, will incorporate suggestions into the Forest Plan. We will summarise the feedback on the 'We asked, You said, We did' page.

We will then submit the Forest Plan to the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission for approval.


  • Local community member
  • Forest visitor
  • Forestry Commission agent / contractor / partner
  • Government department / agency or unitary authority
  • Non-Governmental Organisation / charity


  • Forest design plans