Quick fact

Since 2014, we have worked with over 600 landowners and managers to help protect and restore thousands of hectares of fragile ancient woodland.

If you own or manage ancient woodland, ancient parkland or wood pasture, restoration can benefit you as well as nature. Generate extra income from timber or woodfuel or create shelter for livestock or cover for game.

Each wood is unique and needs a bespoke plan - there is no one-size-fits-all approach and no set timescale. 

For larger woods we will often provide a dedicated specialist adviser to guide you through the whole restoration process. For smaller ones we may be able to help or at least provide the right information for you to obtain local advice and support. 

Ancient woodland is an incredible haven for wildlife, full of history and natural resources. But our relationship with these ancient woods has started to decline and we have forgotten just how important they actually are. Now these rich habitats are in urgent need of restoration.  

Many of the UK's ancient woodland sites have been planted with non-native conifers, creating mono-cultures that have changed the natural woodland ecology and reduced their diversity. Restoring our ancient woodland is crucial. Not only to ensure the survival of the wildlife that lives there, but also to help build and create resilient, sustainable landscapes which are less susceptible to threats from climate change and tree disease.  

At the Woodland Trust, we're working with landowners to explore the benefits that woodland restoration brings. Restored ancient woodlands are peaceful, tranquil spaces where we can reconnect with nature and take time out to de-stress.  

Ancient woodlands are also important areas for education and medical research. Our ancient woodlands are full of delicate archaeological features which can be threatened by ongoing forestry operations. Careful restoration can protect these remains and help preserve important links to our past.  

Woodlands undergoing restoration can be a sustainable source for commercial timber which can be sold for many uses, including building materials or wood-fuel pellets. Restoration can also help improve some woodlands for rearing game.  

Restored ancient woodlands can be perfect spots for cycle trails and wildlife walks, and restoration can enable diversification opportunities. Ancient woodland restoration is a gradual and rewarding process, and we're at the forefront of championing techniques and working with landowners across the UK to gently revive these ecologically valuable woods.  

Get in touch

If you think you own or manage ancient woodland, ancient parkland or wood pasture in need of restoration, please email restoration@woodlandtrust.org.uk with the following details, and a member of our team in your part of the country will be in touch:

  • your name and contact details
  • the name of your wood and OS grid reference
  • how many hectares the wood is
  • any other details you think we should know about.

Ancient woodland management training

Two new training courses on ancient woodland management are available free for woodland managers, advisers and contractors.

These courses are available thanks to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund and provided in partnership with Cumbria Woodlands.

Each course is a day long. They are provisionally scheduled as follows.

Surveying ancient woodland course

  • Thursday 18 November 2021 – Longbeech North Wood, Challock, Kent
  • Thursday 27 January 2022 – Old Wood, Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire
  • Thursday 3 February 2022 – Ausewell Wood, Ashburton, Devon

Restoring ecological integrity in woodlands course

  • Thursday 25 November 2021 – Bovey Valley Woods, Bovey Tracey, Devon
  • Thursday 20 January 2022 – Little Doward Woods, Whitchurch, Herefordshire
  • Thursday 10 February 2022 - Robson Spring Wood, Sproxton, North Yorkshire.

Alternatively you can complete an online version of the training in your own time, available from late November.

To register your interest, please email restorationtraining@woodlandtrust.org.uk

Case studies: explore the restoration process in practice

Discover more about ancient woodland and restoration