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Great western community forestGreat Western Community Forest

Charity no.: 279968

The Great Western Community Forest was founded in 1994 alongside eleven other Community Forests across England, in part as a result of priorities for environmental protection and sustainable living, established in the Rio Earth Summit Agreement of 1992.
The aims of the Forest partnership are to:
  • Create a multi-purpose Forest embracing Swindon and its environs, with a rich mixture of woods, farmland, open spaces, towns and villages.
  • Increase tree cover within the Forest area until it reaches an average of 30%.
  • Encourage community involvement in the creation and maintenance of the Forest, and instil a strong sense of local identity within the region.
  • Maintain and enhance biodiversity within the Forest.
  • Maximise public access to the Forest for work and leisure.
  • Encourage sustainable development within the Forest area, including employment opportunities that make use of the Forest itself.
  • Improve the overall quality of the landscape within and surrounding Swindon in particular, so that people from the town and its surrounding villages will want to use, cherish and enjoy the area.

Activities and services:

  • Advice to farmers and landowners establishing woods and other habitats
  • Advice to schools on environmentally improving their school grounds, creating "outdoor classrooms"
  • Grants:
  1. Community Conservation Projects
  2. Landscape Improvement Projects
  3. Woodland schemes
  • Training opportunities, e.g. through BTCV, and Trees of Time and Place
  • Volunteer opportunities (e.g. for tree planting) and with the Countryside Rangers and BTCV

Geographic coverage:

The Great Western Community Forest covers 140 square miles, stretching from Wootton Bassett to Faringdon, the Marlborough Downs to the River Thames.

Key contacts

Jonathan Wilshaw, Community  Forest Officer  Tel: 01793 466322 Fax: 01793 466306 Swindon Borough Council, Premier House, Station Rd, Swindon SN1 1TZ Website:


For organisations that have a geographical coverage that stretches beyond Oxfordshire, the most accessible contact for Oxfordshire activities is listed. M - These groups run a membership subscription scheme, but will very often provide initial advice free of charge NL - Newsletter This Directory may not provide the total coverage of the activities of the groups listed. It concentrates on environmental and nature conservation activities. Disclaimer: Neither ONCF nor the Northmoor Trust can accept liability for any losses due to the inaccuracy of any information in this Directory.