Woodland and habitat management

Woodland and habitat management

The National Forest has seen Forest cover rise from 6% to over 23% in the last 30 years. We now need to ensure that these new Forest habitats are well managed, so they continue to thrive for years to come. Currently over 80% of woodlands are in active management here, compared to 58% nationally. 

Why manage woodlands and habitats?

Managing habitats helps to:

  1. increase biodiversity by encouraging woodland regeneration, structural and age class diversity and woodland flora to flourish
  2. reduce the threat and impact of pests and disease
  3. increase woodland resilience to better withstand extreme weather events, caused by climate change
  4. improve silvicultural practices to produce long term quality timber, which can increase the overall economic value of your wood
  5. support the local woodland economy and engage communities and volunteers

Available advice 

We offer free and impartial advice on how to manage your woodland and other habitats. We are a friendly and supportive team with expert advisors that can provide personal support and flexibility to adapt to your business or community need. 

Apply for funding

Flexible to individual site needs and management objectives, our grant schemes are straightforward and can fund a wide range of management activity that will benefit woodland and farmland habitats in the National Forest. 

Activities we fund include:

  • production of woodland management plans and ecological surveys
  • silvicultural interventions such as pruning, coppicing and the thinning and creation of new woodland rides and glades
  • management of other forest habitats including ponds, meadows and hedgerows
  • grey squirrel and deer control including impact assessments, and management infrastructure
  • thinning to mitigate the effects of ash dieback and other diseases to transform stand species diversity
  • skills training that directly supports woodland management work

We will find the right grant for you. 

Apply for a grant

Have questions?

If you're not sure yet whether you can apply for our grants or are simply looking for some advice, then feel free to get in touch. 

Get in touch

Find out more about how we are managing woodlands and habitats in the National Forest.


Grey Squirrel Impact Assessment

Grey squirrels are estimated to cause around £37m of damage to trees in England and Wales each year. Monitoring the activity and impact of grey squirrels in woodlands is therefore vital for maintaining a healthy environment. The National Forest has developed a method that allows volunteers, land managers or any other interested parties to collect robust data regardless of experience level. 

Read the guidance

Let's transform this place

If you would like to speak to one of our expert advisors or arrange a call for them to visit your site, then get in touch through our grant enquiry form. 

Apply for a grant

More ways to help

Plant trees

If you're an individual who would like to plant trees, then why not join us at one of our tree planting events or dedicate a tree or grove. 

Become a corporate partner

If you are a business outside the National Forest boundary but would still like to contribute to growing a greener future, then consider becoming a corporate partner.