Forestry England’s Bourne Wood

After 20 years of providing a backdrop to many internationally renowned films including Gladiator, Harry Potter and Wonder Woman, Forestry England’s Bourne Wood has made the cut and become the first of Forestry England’s woodlands to be granted permanent change of status to include filming as well as forestry.

Bourne Wood became an iconic filming location both nationally and internationally after the opening sequence of Gladiator was shot there in 1999. With its unrivalled location, being under one hour from the film studios in the South East, and its cinematic views, it’s no wonder it’s become a site of national significance to the UK film & TV industry. The new change of status means that filming operations will be able to continue to take place with greater ease and clearer management, allowing Forestry England to greater balance the local economic and social benefits seen from filming, whilst also looking after the site for people, wildlife, and the greater environment.

Craig Harrison, Forest Management Director for Forestry England’s South District said:

“At Forestry England, we take pride by caring for, and nurturing, our woodlands so that we can pass them on to the next generation in a healthier condition and resilient to future changes in our climate.  We want that next generation to be inspired by what woodlands can offer to society and to be involved in that story.

At Bourne Wood we want to sustain the quality of public access and habitat management. We learnt a great deal over the 20 years that this woodland has been used as a film set and we’ve demonstrated how to carefully run these events in a way that cares for the special qualities of the woodland.

This successful planning application means that we’ll be able to reinvest the income we generate through filming activities and selling timber back into looking after our forests and woodlands.”

With over 1,500 forests across England, it’s not just Bourne Wood that can provide the perfect backdrop for filmmakers. From wooded valleys to rocky mountains, the nation’s forests offer diverse and beautiful locations to shoot in. The pandemic has seen a surge of location enquiries from film makers and production companies alike, and with every type of woodland and forest setting you could ever need it’s no surprise why!

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