Influencing the Future of Forestry: Developing stakeholder engagement in the Public Forest Estate

Closed 9 May 2014

Opened 20 Mar 2014

Feedback expected 14 May 2014

Results updated 18 Jun 2014

The findings of the questionnaire have indicated that stakeholders felt the Forestry Commission (FC) were approachable, and allowed people to influence decisions and contribute there skills to the management of the Public Forest Estate.  However improvements were required around transparency in how decisions were made and providing information to enable people to judge whether the FC are delivering to expected standards.  Stakeholders also felt that they didn't know how to raise awareness of unsatisfactory performance and improvements were needed around communication between the FC and stakeholders.

Additional feedback from participants in the questionnaire indicated that there was a difference between local level engagement, where staff on the ground provided a good contact point, and strategic engagement which didn't appear to have such clear lines of communication.




 Influencing the Future of Forestry

The Forestry Commission manages the Public Forest Estate (PFE) for the Government and holds it in trust for the nation.  In 2011 the Government signalled an intention to sell off a significant proportion of the PFE and, in response, many community groups and stakeholders campaigned for the PFE to stay in public ownership.  The campaign was successful and in January 2013 the Government’s Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement made a number of commitments to support the future of forests in England. One of the most important was that the PFE in England would remain in public ownership.   

In recognition of the effort and support from stakeholders and campaign groups, and in response to the direction set within the Government Forestry and Woodland Policy Statement, the Forestry Commission will be running a pilot project - Harnessing the Energy of the Community.  The pilot will test ways of engaging stakeholders in the East of England Forest District, so they can feed into decision making processes and work alongside the Forestry Commission in managing the PFE.

Why your views matter

Why we are consulting

Get Involved!

This questionnaire is the first step toward developing a relationship with stakeholders interested in influencing strategic decisions in areas such as:

·       forest management and timber production

·       tree pests and diseases

·       conservation and heritage

·       business and income generation

·       recreation and woodland access

Your response will help develop the pilot project to test ways to engage stakeholders, improve transparency and accountability and explore ways of working together for the future. 

If you require a hard copy of the survey to complete offline or guidance to complete the questionnaire, please contact or call 01223 775102. 

What happens next

This questionnaire will run from Thursday 20th of March to Wednesday 9th of May 2014

Sign Up

When we have processed the data from the questionnaire there will be a workshop for stakeholders and Forestry Commission staff to discuss the feedback and shape the pilot project.  The workshop is planned for the 14th of May 2014.

The resulting pilot project will take place in the East England Forest District and run from May 2014 to March 2015. The questionnaire will provide an opportunity to sign up for the workshop and to take part in the delivery and evaluation of the pilot project. 

For those who are unable to attend the workshop but still want to take part we will be running an online discussion on the day addressing the topics being discussed at the workshop.

If successful, the pilot project could be rolled out nationally. 


  • Landowner / manager
  • Local community member
  • Forestry Commission staff
  • Forest visitor
  • Forestry Commission agent / contractor / partner
  • Government department / agency or unitary authority
  • Non-Governmental Organisation / charity
  • Sports group
  • Commercial business
  • Wildlife management
  • Travel and tourism
  • Wood processor - including timber and woodfuel production
  • Media
  • Woodland group
  • Education and academia


  • Organisational change
  • Recreation
  • Timber, wood products and woodfuel
  • Woodland management
  • Wildlife management
  • Forest design plans