Well-managed woodlands enhance the landscape, provide diverse wildlife habitats, protect soils, absorb carbon dioxide, reduce water run-off and create a great environment for people to enjoy all year round.

Friends of the Lake District aims to increase woodland cover in Cumbria and better manage existing woodlands. We practice what we preach through managing trees and woodland on land that we own too.

We work to remove non-native conifer blocks and help create mixed new native woodland, through working with the Forestry Commission, the Lake District National Park Authority and Natural England. We also work to keep rural skills alive and promote woodland wildlife diversity through coppicing, pollarding, funding woodland craft skills and chainsaw usage and we have helped with apprenticeships to teach skills in coppicing and horse logging.


  • One of our first pioneering campaigns was to halt the large-scale afforestation of the central Lakeland fells with huge monotonous areas of conifer trees. This led to the historic Forestry Agreement between The Forestry Commission and CPRE in 1936, which identified ‘no-go areas’ for commercial conifer plantations.
  • We helped “Stop the Forest Sell Off” in 2011. Local people and visitors who enjoy the area's forests looked to Friends of the Lake District, as an independent influential voice to stand up for Cumbria's countryside and champion their opposition to the Government's proposals to sell off forests owned by the Forestry Commission. We did just that and our campaign played a major role in forcing the Government to shelve their ill thought out plans.
  • We have planted over 10,000 trees on our land at Hows Wood, Mike’s Wood, The Helm and High Borrowdale.