Woodland is very important in Dorset for economy, wildlife and landscape. It covers around 28,000 hectares - at 11%, this is slightly higher than the national average.

There are distinct types of woodland and forest cover in the county - large plantations in the south and east, large estate woodlands in north and central Dorset and the scattered farm woods more common in the west. Broadleaves make up half of all woodland; many of these are ancient - being over 400 years old.

The Forestry Commission manage a quarter of the wooded area; the rest is largely in private ownership and these tend to be the smaller woods. There are more than 1300 woods of less than 2 hectares! These small woods are the hardest to manage in an economical way, but the growth in demand for woodfuel for renewable energy provides an exciting new opportunity.

Read more about the history of Dorset's woodland and its wildlife.

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