All about the Forest
Over twenty years ago, visionary leaders made the decision to create a new, large, forested area in England, to show all the many benefits that come from woodland near where people live and work. The area in the Midlands which came to be known as The National Forest was chosen in part because the woodland cover was very low (about 6%). There was also a great need for regeneration after the end of mining and, importantly, incredible public support for the idea.
Since then, the 200 square miles of The National Forest have been transformed through the planting of millions of trees (8m by October 2012) and the creation of many other valuable habitats. It boasts many new attractions and forest-based activities and has stimulated many woodland-linked businesses. Whilst more than 200,000 people live in the Forest, it is also within just 90 minutes' journey time for about 10 million people and is open to all, with an increasing network of trails and recreational opportunities.
- Read more about the forest
Forest cover, which includes open spaces, water and other habitats, is nudging 20% in 2012. The National Forest depends on a wide range of partners including many landowners, who retain their land whilst planting all or some of it to form part of the Forest. The original idea, of blending new and maturing woodland within a wide variety of landscapes, has stood the test of time.
The exciting agenda now is to continue to plant the right woods in the right place, to make the most of what has been created and for more people to enjoy and love the Forest. Soon, many of the early woodlands will be ready for first thinnings. Foresters and woodland owners enjoy this challenging phase, as bold decision-making, sharp tools and action are needed to steer the woodland's development. The effect can be a dramatic step-change - when the wood begins to look less like lines of trees and more like what we imagine a wood to be. We want to make sure this happens and that the woods grow to healthy maturity.
With support from Central Government, (Defra), The National Forest is seen as a national exemplar of this kind of multipurpose forestry on a large, landscape, scale. It has an increasing profile nationally and internationally. The National Forest Company leads the creation of The National Forest and as well as delivering day-to-day its small team is committed to research and evidence on the progress of the Forest.
- Read more: National Forest Company Research
The development of The National Forest offers unprecedented opportunities to create and enhance a wide range of wildlife habitats.
- Read more: Nature Conservation
Locking up our Carbon
Helping create The National Forest is one of the many steps you could take towards offsetting the effects of climate change.
- Read more: Locking up our Carbon
Read more: Where is The National Forest? |
Read more: Interactive Map |
Read more: Growing Forest |
28 Feb 2014
Pupils from four Coalville Schools will be walking barefoot in The National Forest next week to gain inspiration for a music making project.
29 Jan 2014
A new magazine-style visitor guide for the National Forest & Beyond has been launched, packed full with ideas for family fun and tree-spirited adventures in and around The National Forest.
Find more articles: News
12 Mar 2014
Visit this lovely 13thCentury manor house and enjoy the 17thCentury garden, exciting living history and hands-on events, and find out more about living in Medieval, Tudor and Stuart times. Assistance dogs only.
14 Mar 2014
Discover 500 years of technological innovation and its impact on our lives at this award-winning interactive museum. From the earliest mining tools, proto-type jet engine to the largest fashion display outside London – there is plenty to explore. Assistance dogs only.
Find more: Events
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27 Jan 2014
Sophie and Carol visited Snibston and Donisthorpe over the weekend and shared some great community life in the Forest.
27 Nov 2013
From Measham to Leicester on the back road, you pass the mine's bund, a newly turfed embankment on a grand scale, like a whale which has swum up the Thames and got stranded. Week by week mounds of soil appear and change shape: we have, temporarily, a rusty brown Arizonian backdrop to the lovely Swepstone church.
Find more: Blog