We help enable public forests to remain in public ownership

We are fully committed to the public ownership of the UK’s forests now and into the future and we play an important role in securing that future.

Forest Holidays, part owned by the Forestry Commission, offers cabin holidays within just 0.063%  of Forestry Commission woodland and contributes £2m per year towards the upkeep of the Public Forest Estate.

We are fully committed to the public ownership of the UK’s forests now and into the future and we play an important role in securing that future.

We share and support the aims of the Forestry Commission

  • The Forestry Commission manages the Public Forest Estate on behalf of the nation – but it needs funds to do that. We provide some of those vital funds.
  • We have a shared vision with the Forestry Commission of how private enterprise can provide support to keep Britain’s forests in public ownership.
  • We lease just 0.063% of the UK’s Public Forest Estate from the Forestry Commission and all our locations remain as continuous cover forestry, fully open to the public.
  • Forest management means planning for the long term. Our long leases allow us to invest, thereby building a sustainable business that can make continued financial contribution to the Forestry Commission. It also enables us to commit to effective woodland management plans.
  • Our locations are built in harmony with the forest environment and we continue to manage them to the standards set by the Forestry Commission.

We work together with the Forestry Commission to achieve our joint aims

  • We were founded by the Forestry Commission in the 1960s in a drive to open up the forests for recreation. We are now an independent company, co-owned by the Forestry Commission and Lloyds Development Capital, part of Lloyds Bank, the UK’s 250-year-old local bank.
  • We provide an income stream for the Forestry Commission both via its role as our landlord and as a 20% shareholder in our business.
  • The Forestry Commission is represented on the board of Forest Holidays; management work together at all levels to achieve joint goals; and local site teams help and support each other’s aims.

We use private investment to support public ownership

  • The Independent Panel on Forestry recommended in 2012 that the Public Forest Estate should remain in public ownership and that it should be run independently from Government under a charter, renewable every 10 years.
  • It further recommended that its new management organisation should be “explicitly tasked …to get as much value as possible from its assets and include within its main purposes to…maximise the public value of the estate in terms of…recreation; and to work in partnership with others to grow local woodland economies.
  • Forest Holidays agree with the Panel’s recommendations and we are proud to be working in partnership with the Forestry Commission to help achieve these objectives.
  • The Forestry Commission has links to over 80 recreational forest businesses including Forest Holidays. The careful development of these business relationships leads to a self-sustaining model, safe from outside pressures.
  • Strengthening our arrangement, and others like it, is a realistic way to secure the future of public ownership for our forests. It is supported by private finance but it is NOT privatisation. (YouTube: Does Private Sector Involvement Mean Privatisation of the Public Forest Estate?)

Looking after archaeology and the cultural background of woodlands, that’s what people value and that’s why people wanted their Public Forest protected, why there was a row over them being sold off because people value those things. Having Forest Holidays on the estate not only broadens the experiences that people can have but helps to pay for some of those things too.

– Simon Hodgson, Chief Executive, Forest Enterprise England

As well as opening our policy making for new ideas – I want to open our environment to new people. This means National Parks, Kew, the Forestry Commission attracting more visitors, especially children, from all backgrounds and parts of the country. It means making training, volunteering, and apprenticeships in countryside management, farming, and the environment more widely available. These are huge public assets and we should ensure they are benefiting the public as a whole, as widely as possible.

– Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

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