Dymock Woods Forest Plan

Closed 21 Jul 2023

Opened 9 Jun 2023

Feedback updated 25 Jul 2023

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.


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 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. Appended to the plan will be the Dymock Woods SSSI Management Plan and the Michael Harper Reserves Management Plan. Both of these are also available as PDFs below.

We hope the short video above will help you understand the work of Forestry England at Dymock Woods - please do watch it and tell us what you think of it in the questionnaire.

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 Friday 21st July 2023.

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