Creating a living lab in Hatfield Forest

As part of our work to help care for Hatfield Forest, we’ve invited world-leading tree and soil experts into the forest to create a living laboratory which will help us understand the pressures on the landscape.

Wet and wintry weather presents a particular challenge to the forest’s most worn out paths, where we’re seeing a real impact on the decline of vegetation and wildlife.

A number of ‘test sites’ have been created within the forest to help the researchers understand which methods are best used to encourage biodiversity back into these vulnerable areas.

" It’s not very often that you’ll see botanical research like this happening within an ancient hunting forest such as Hatfield. We’re looking forward to working with the researchers to learn more about which test environments will encourage the right type of vegetation back to the worn out, compacted paths."
- Ade Clarke, Hatfield Forest
One of the test sites in Hatfield Forest as part of research by world-leading tree and soil experts
Test area within Hatfield Forest to help decompact the soil

With every inch of Hatfield Forest’s 1,000 acres influenced by human activity and more people each year enjoying the land, outdoors and nature, this research is important to all of us.

The work we are doing now will help safeguard the future of this ancient forest by encouraging the much needed biodiversity back into areas where the paths have worn down and the soil has compacted.

Watch this space as we’ll keep you updated on the progress of the cutting edge science keeping this ancient place special.

Find out more about how you can help care for the forest here