Advice and support
More than 34,000 hectares of ancient woodland are already committed to a process of restoration, but we know thousands more desperately need help.
Credit: Jim Smith-Wright/WTML
Credit: Jim Smith-Wright/WTML
Credit: Mark Zytynski/WTML
Credit: Niall Benvie/WTML
Credit: www.mjt.photography/Alamy Stock Photo
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Our Introduction to Ancient Woodland Restoration training sessions are free to professionals working in the sector, including landowners, land agents, trainee foresters and forestry contractors such as loggers, tree surgeons and chainsaw operators. Delivered this spring in partnership with Cumbria Woodlands, you can learn how to recognise ancient woodland, why it’s important, how to protect and restore it and how to conduct a basic ancient woodland survey. Find your nearest event.
A suite of online resources has also been developed with Cumbria Woodlands. Available free to everyone, the course provides 7.5 hours of learning. You'll learn about key features and management, survey and planning, halting further decline, maximising ecological integrity and management approaches and opportunities.
The course for Continuing Professional Development can be accessed at Cumbria Woodlands’ Open edX Platform. You will need to register on the site before you can enrol on the course.
Ancient woodland restoration interpretation toolkit
If you want people to visit your site and learn about your restoration work, our toolkit can help. It includes case studies along with tips on planning and delivery, funding sources and much more. This guidance has been made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Case studies: explore the restoration process in practice
Restoration techniques at Raincliffe Woods
Bringing neglected woodland into sustainable management
Restoring Coed y Galchog: a 25 year plan
Harvesting woodfuel from ancient woodland restoration
Restoring Craggach Wood to a productive and diverse native woodland
Adding value to timber from sustainably managed woods
Clearing Runtington Wood of invasive plants
Timber production during restoration in a County Antrim woodland
Woodland restoration and the fight against tree disease
Improving site access for sustainable woodland management
Highlights from an ancient woodland restoration event
Building a successful and sustainable woodfuel partnership
Restoring ancient woodland in mid Wales
Discover more about ancient woodland and restoration
Trees woods and wildlife
Home to myth and legend, where folk tales began. It fuelled our ancestors and still houses thousands of species. Ancient woodland has grown and adapted with native wildlife, yet what remains only covers 2.5% of the UK.
Protecting trees and woods
How to identify ancient woodland on your land
Think your wood could be ancient? Check our tips on what to look for on site and the historical records that could help.
Protecting trees and woods
How we restore ancient woodland
Discover how we restore and maximise the ecological integrity and resilience of these incredibly special places.