Chase and Penyard Woods Forest Plan

Closed 3 Jan 2023

Opened 14 Nov 2022

Feedback updated 8 Feb 2023

We asked

The external consultation for the Chase and Penyard Forest Plan was open for six weeks in November / December 2022. Posters were put up at entrances to both woods, directing people to an online survey.

You said

The majority of the 23 respondents to the survey describe themselves as walkers, mountain bikers and neighbours, but there were also comments from Historic England and the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group.

All 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 including:

  • “Visitors are bowled over by [the woods’] accessibility.”
  • “These are some of the best woods in the country.”
  • “The report is pleasingly thorough.”

We did

Some respondents expressed concern about the increasing number of mountain bikers, while other believe that there should be designated mountain biking areas in both woods, and asked why mountain biking is not covered in more detail in the forest plan.

Forestry England’s response:

  • Our forest plans don’t directly address recreation – they are more about land management for long-term forest management and resilience.
  • Our ‘Unauthorised Trails Guidance’ is that “cycling can be tolerated on paths, tracks and trails (natural or desire lines) away from the authorised network so long as Forestry England determine there is no significant wildlife disturbance or damage to historic features and there is no significant danger posed to other forest users or those using them.” We appeal to riders to act responsibly.


Other concerns included:

  • “Environmental objectives should be given a higher priority in these woods.”

Forestry England’s response:

    • Protection and enhancement of habitats is a high priority for us. We are excited about the proposal to create glades along the ridesides in Chase Wood and to carry out sweet chestnut coppicing in Penyard, both of which will benefit wildlife.


  • “Plan may eventually produce Chase too dominated by oak.”

Forestry England’s response:

    • This was something we discussed when writing the plan. Over time, as the oaks are thinned, gaps will be created, into which we can plant more varied species mixtures in order to diversify and increase resilience.


The Forest Plan for Forestry England's Chase and Penyard 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 Tuesday 3rd January 2023.

We will summarise the feedback and our responses by the end of February 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