Forestry Commission Forest and Heathland Project

Approximately 850 hectares of heathland has been created under the Forestry Commission's Forest and Heathland Programme and the quality and linkage of the designated heathland areas has been enhanced throughout the southern heathland forests between Dorchester and Ringwood.

Major heathland restoration on Forestry Commission land began during the early 1990s. Around 25% of the entire area of the main heathland forests is designated permanent heathland, in addition to miles of enhanced heathland ridge habitat, and 'temporary heath' areas (young forest plantations between 1 and 15 years old). The strengths of the forest and heathland habitats are clear to see with strong populations of all key heathland species, as well as a wide variety of important non-heath species, including notable populations of Turtle Dove, Dormice and woodland bats.

Recent projects include the removal of invasive rhododendron at Moreton Forest to create 30 hectares of wet/humid heath, establishment of a further 20 hectares of dry heath on Duddle Heath in Puddletown Forest and the creation of around 60 hectares of heath in Whitesheet plantation through the removal of conifer scrub and gorse.

For further information contact the Forestry Commission office at Lyndhurst on 02380 283141.


The Partnership's aim is to alleviate urban pressures on the Dorset heaths brought about by new residential development in the area.

This is achieved with a combination of wardening, an inclusive education programme, access management and fire risk assessment and heath management.

There are several strands of monitoring to establish baseline data and to gauge success of work and projects. 


T: 01202 642787