Surrey Hills Forest Plan 2023-2033

Closed 2 Mar 2023

Opened 19 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 11 Apr 2023

We asked

Consultation for the Surrey Hills Forest Plan was open for six weeks from late January to the beginning of March 2023. We emailed a group of consultees and put posters up at entrances to our Surrey Hills woods, directing people to this online survey.

You said

There were 31 responses to the Surrey Hills Forest Plan survey. 26 respondents answered question 1 (do you agree that the plan achieves an appropriate balance of social, economic, and environmental objectives for the woodland?). Of these 26 respondents, 16 answered yes to question 1, while 15 answered no.

The majority of those who disagreed with question 1 feel that Forestry England need to consider the needs of mountain bikers more, although most recognised the importance of the woodlands to other groups such as horse-riders and walkers. Other replies expressed views on the use of native tree species (both for and against), the potential for conflicting use of the woods by different user groups, and on their opinion that the plan needed to talk more about biodiversity management.

Of the 31 responses to question 2 (how well does the plan address your needs and interests or those of your organisation?), roughly two thirds of respondents answered OK, Well or Very Well, while the remainder answered Poor or Very Poor. Although generally positive, the majority of respondents still have concerns about representation of the views of mountain bikers, and conflicts between user groups similar to the answers to question 1.

We did

Forestry England’s response:
Our Forest Plans are strategic documents, and not intended to deal with site-specific recreation management issues (other than to show our awareness of them where necessary). Our Land Management and Recreation Teams will continue to engage with different user-groups about how we manage our woods for their benefit.

In areas of Planted Ancient Woodland with non-native trees, we will continue to gradually restore to native species as dictated by Government policy, and by the need to make our woods more resilient to climate change.


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 you or your organisation to leave some feedback on our proposed revision to the Forest Plan covering Forestry England managed woodlands in the Surrey Hills. This forms part of our consultation with stakeholders that helps to ensure we achieve an appropriate balance of objectives.

Why your views matter

The Surrey Hills Forest Plan has come up for revision. We are asking for your feedback on the management proposals and objectives in the plan.

We are required to manage our woodlands in line with the UK Woodland Assurance Standard certification scheme. This helps to fulfil our objectives as sustainable land managers within the nation’s forests. The Forest Plan is available to download below in PDF format.

What happens next

Once this online Stakeholder Consultation has closed, we will examine the feedback and where possible, will incorporate suggestions into the Forest Plan. We will then submit the Forest Plan to Forest Services, the regulatory arm of the Forestry Commission, for any further consultation required prior to approval.


  • Landowner / manager
  • Local community member
  • Forestry Commission staff
  • Forest visitor
  • Consumers
  • 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
  • South England
  • South West


  • Recreation
  • Tourism
  • Timber, wood products and woodfuel
  • Woodland management
  • Wildlife management
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Forest design plans