About the National Forest

The National Forest is one of the boldest environmental initiatives in the country - transforming a post-industrial landscape by creating a forest across 200 square miles of the Midlands, linking the ancient remnant forests of Charnwood and Needwood. Together, we are demonstrating how trees can be the catalyst for regeneration and inspire a positive future in the face of a changing climate.

30 years of transformation

In the late 80s, large swathes of the Midlands landscape had been scarred by centuries of coal mining and clay extraction. For more than 30 years, we have been transforming this place from black to green through the planting of millions of trees. 

Our history
200 square miles of the Midlands
square miles of the Midlands

Rooted in the heart of the country

The National Forest sits in the heart of the country, spanning 200 square miles of the Midlands across parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Staffordshire. It is easily accessible, located between the major cities of Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Birmingham, and providing natural greenspaces on the doorstep of its four Forest towns, Burton upon Trent (famous for its brewing), Swadlincote and Coalville (formerly associated with the clay and coal mining industries) and the historic town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

It starts with trees, but it doesn’t end there

We have an ambitious vision for the National Forest where people, nature, and the economy can grow together. Working with farmers, landowners, businesses and communities, we are creating a place that demonstrates the transformative impact of trees, providing a model for more sustainable living.  

Our vision

A forest of the future

The National Forest is reclaiming what a ‘forest’ means: not wall to wall trees but a distinctly wooded landscape that provides a setting within which people live, work and learn. It is made up of a mosaic of landscapes and land uses: where towns and villages, industry and farming, open habitats and wetlands, are all framed by trees.

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8.1 million
How we're growing the future

We work using policy, partnerships, grants, advice and support to deliver the National Forest. Our strategy is focused on five main themes of creating, managing, inspiring, engaging and growing. 

What we do
The team behind the National Forest

The National Forest and all that it achieves is down to the passionate communities, individuals, and businesses who are part of making positive change happen. However, the vision for the National Forest is driven by the National Forest Company, a charity working with partners across the public, private, voluntary and community sectors, and supported by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

Who we are

Latest success stories

How to get involved

We can’t do this alone; we need your help. Whether you choose to make your own small commitment to the planet or want to get more actively involved, you’re standing up for positive change.

Become a Forest Champion

Join our team of Forest Champions and help grow the future together by donating monthly. 

Make a donation

Any donation, big or small, helps towards growing a greener, healthier and more sustainable future. 

Plant trees

You can help grow a greener future. From joining a planting event to dedicating a tree, there are many ways to help grow the Forest.


Whether you're looking to give something back, learn a new skill, or make new friends, many groups in the National Forest support our work.