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Windsor and Swinley Forests, which make up 50 per cent of the estate, evolved from one of the large royal hunting forests, but today have an important commercial, recreational and environmental role.

Historically the timber from these forests was used for ship construction and building; a concerned Queen Elizabeth I instructed that oak plantations be established on the estate by acorn sowing. Today the forest is managed under a multi-purpose policy, integrating the conservation of wildlife, timber production and public access. Wherever possible, major construction projects on the estate utilise our own home grown timber.

The forests are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).

Produce sales

Through selective felling and thinning, approximately 12,000 tonnes of timber will be produced every year from 2012-2016. This timber will be allocated to a number of uses, ranging from construction through to biofuel provision.

Public access and recreation

The use of our forest as an important recreational destination sees over 600,000 visits a year, mainly to The Look Out visitor centre near Bracknell.

This site is also host to a 'Go Ape' high wire course, cycle hire facility and mountain biking courses.


Swinley forest in the south of the estate forms part of the Thames Valley Special Protection Area. This area is designated for its heath land habitats which support a rich population of ground nesting birds including nightjars and Dartford warblers.

The estate works closely with Natural England to protect this important habitat.

Get in touch

The Crown Estate Office
The Great Park
Windsor SL4 2HT

01753 860 222

Email us

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