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The Stansted Park Charitable Foundation is offering the chance to restore its forest, planting thousands of trees to recreate woodland cover, offset emissions and create wildlife habitats.

The Foundation has reluctantly begun a major felling programme, under licence from the Forestry Commission because of the Ash dieback disease (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) – most of this species at Stansted Park has some degree of infection and young trees in particular are either dead or dying.

This virulent disease weakens even larger trees, reducing their ability to fight secondary pathogens and making them unstable. This has serious safety implications in areas of public access, or adjacent to roads and buildings. Managing them is fraught with danger, meaning landowners are, with heavy hearts, having to fell large numbers of ash trees.  

Ash is one of our most common trees and its widespread loss will have a disastrous effect. The species is vital for biodiversity, with huge numbers of creatures reliant on it for food or habitat. Old trees, with numerous cavities, are homes for birds, insects, bats and a myriad of insects and fungi.

Many superb young trees have to be felled and sold at a fraction of their potential value rather than as fine timber in the future.




The cost of replanting these large areas is huge but a vital part of Stansted Park’s charitable mission. A mix of native hardwoods will optimise biodiversity and the introduction of new species, able to thrive in our changing climate, will add seasonal colour. New access paths will be created to enhance visitors’ experience.

The Foundation is hoping individual sponsors will ‘buy a tree’, perhaps as a present for family members or in memory of a loved one.

While it won’t be possible to identify your individual tree, you will be able to specify which area and species you’d like and know that you have permanently committed to the restoration of the forest.’

For those who would like to contribute to this wonderful project, the suggested cost of sponsorship is £10 per tree.


Please see the below button for a sponsorship form to complete and return to Stansted Park Foundation, Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, PO9 6DX.

If you would like to order one by post please call 02392 412265.

Alternatively, you can donate another amount to the cause using the button below. We thank you in advance for your support.



During the planting season 2020/21 we planted just under 4000 trees to replace those felled. This meant that all of The Escarpment has been replanted with a new woodland landscape design incorporating a new access track through the top section giving improved views.

The majority of the Sling was also similarly replanted and here again we put in a new track through the plantation so visitors did not need to walk on the old drive if they did not wish to. It will also allow them a close experience of the new woodland as it develops.

Similarly, this season we will plant just over 4000 trees, completing the majority of the Sling and the adjacent Turner’s Piece. There will then be a major operation to replant the Wythy Piece where a very large area had to be felled.

Sadly, we are having to continue felling in a number of areas, although we are leaving trees not showing severe disease in the hope that some will show some resistance but this will mean potentially having to return to sites which will complicate the work programme and add to costs. However, we feel it is important to determine if any of our ash have a genetic makeup that will not be as susceptible.

Some trees are in very awkward positions such as deep within chestnut coppice blocks and it would be very damaging to woodland structure to try to get to these. Therefore, where safe to do so, we will leave these trees and if they die completely they will form large decaying wood habitats, which are so important in Stansted Forest for a wide range of wildlife which includes some quite rare species.

Next winter we will start on replanting work in Lyels Wood, Lordington Copse, the East Park belts and a number of smaller areas including two sizeable landscape clumps being planted in the East Park on former arable land comprising of mixed hardwood trees, trees here can be sponsored for the same cost (this is not to replace diseased ash) and a section of new hedging being planted in the park comprising of mixed native shrub species . It will be a number of years yet before we will have dealt with this situation but by then we hope that the new trees planted early on will be out of their tubes and starting to develop into new and attractive woodland.

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