England’s national programme of Community Forests is a successful model for community involvement, inclusion, environmental regeneration and green infrastructure creation.
England’s Community Forests are located in and around our largest towns and cities
Our aim is to deliver a comprehensive package of urban, economic and social regeneration, creating high-quality environments for millions of people by revitalising derelict land, providing new opportunities for leisure, recreation, and cultural activities, enhancing biodiversity, preparing for climate change and supporting education, healthy living and social and economic development.
Each Community Forest is a partnership between local authorities and local, regional and national partners including the Forestry Commission and Natural England. The founding basis for each Forest is a government-approved Forest Plan, a 30-year vision of landscape-scale improvement.
Since 2011, the Community Forests have had a national accord with the Forestry Commission.
The Community Forest programme was established in 1990 by the then Countryside Commission as a pilot project to demonstrate the potential contribution of environmental improvement to economic and social regeneration. The three initial pilots quickly grew to a national programme, which made use of broad-based partnerships to pioneer activity and deliver lasting change. Recently, Community Forests have moved towards greater financial independence from national funding bodies and further strengthening our local focus. The long-term vision is as relevant as ever, contributing directly to agendas across Government.
Since 1990, England’s Community Forests have
Collectively, this work has formed the largest environmental regeneration initiative in England. Major contributions have been made to Government agendas including quality of life, health, community cohesion and addressing climate change. Best practice has been developed and tested and national policy influenced. Community Forests have played a key role in developing and championing Green Infrastructure.
The Community Forests are proud of their partnership working and robust track record of delivery. They remain of critical relevance to agendas now and into the future. Including:
The experience gained over the past two decades by the Community Forests has been and continues to be recognised by national, regional and local Government. It places the Community Forests in a unique position of being able to draw upon best practice, grow new partnerships across England and beyond and continue to be an agent of real change.