Tree planting at Foxbury

Volunteers planting trees at Foxbury, New Forest, Hampshire

Foxbury in the New Forest is the site of our biggest heathland restoration project in England. It's not just about lowland heath though; we're planting 26 hectares - that’s 22,000 trees - of native broad-leafed woodland there too.

We're planting a mixture of oak, sweet chestnut and alder, along with a variety of hedging plants such as thorn, holly, hazel and crab apple. 

These species were chosen as they complement the surrounding native woodland in the area and will ensure that Foxbury has a sustainable future. Income provided by woodland product and log sales will help fund our continuing heathland conservation work.

We run volunteer tree planting days in winter for anyone who wants to get involved.

Around 10,000 trees have already been planted by the New Forest’s conservation volunteer group, local people, community groups and schools.

Volunteers joining in on one of our tree planting days
A group of people tree planting at Foxbury, New Forest, Hampshire
Volunteers joining in on one of our tree planting days

English oak is probably the most beneficial tree to native wildlife we have, supporting thousands of species, including insects, birds and mammals.

Alder will be planted in the wetter areas, an environment it prefers.

Sweet chestnut, although only “recently native”, will provide a useful wood crop and should be more resistant to future climate change and disease than other native species.

Planting will take place in areas shown to have been ancient woodlands previously. This can be identified by the presence of large numbers of ancient woodland indicator species growing, for example, dog mercury, bluebells and wood avens.

" By planting a tree in Foxbury local communities can contribute to something long term and also return to Foxbury to re-visit the trees they planted in a woodland that will benefit local wildlife for 100’s of years to come. We hope to create a legacy in Foxbury through tree planting, so that local people will become ambassadors for the site and help us sustainably manage our community woodlands for the future. "
- Jacob White, Community Ranger

Much of the funding for the trees comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of the New Forests ‘Our Past, Our Future’ project, led by the New Forest National Park Authority.