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Ancient Woodland Restoration Continuing Professional Development - Version 3

Cumbria Woodlands

About This Course

Welcome to our free, comprehensive, Ancient Woodland Restoration Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course.

This course has been developed to upskill land managers and influencers in the following ancient woodland restoration themes:

  • Key features and management
  • Survey and planning
  • Halting further decline
  • Recovery of the wider ecosystem
  • Maximising ecological integrity
  • Management approaches and opportunities.

What’s new in Version 3?

Version 3 is the final version of the Ancient Woodland Restoration CPD course.

This course now contains the final new module: Module 4: Recovery of the Wider Ecosystem, which will guide you through approaches and methods required to secure the woodland once your ancient woodland features are no longer in critical condition. This management phase is about making potentially significant transformations within the woodland to progress recovery and will describe several methods to achieve this drawing on generally well-known silvicultural techniques, and consider the implications of carrying out particular management actions.


By the end of the course you should:

  • know what an ancient woodland and a planted ancient woodland is and why restoration is important
  • be aware of the principles of the underlying restoration process
  • be able to identify and understand key ancient woodland features and threats
  • competently carry out survey and assessment, and use findings to underpin management
  • be able to prioritise management needs and set trajectory
  • be aware of critical management and how to progress from "threatened" to "secure" over appropriate timescales
  • be aware of intervention options and consequences
  • understand that canopy cover transformation is not the end of restoration
  • be aware of the characteristics than encompass a healthy and resilient whole woodland system
  • understand the ultimate aim of restoration should be to maximise the woodland ecological integrity
  • have the knowledge, the understanding, and the aspiration to create healthy and resilient ancient woodland systems.


These Ancient Woodland Restoration learning resources are open and relevant to practitioners and students of forestry and allied sectors. The resources have been developed to supplement existing learning resources and broaden awareness of the value of ancient woodland restoration management techniques.

Course Authors

Carrie Hedges

Carrie is a forestry consultant specialising in providing land owner advice, developing research, and authoring training materials in woodland creation and management, and related environmental subjects such as carbon. She is a PhD Researcher looking at the habitat preferences and influence of climate on montane scrub trees in the UK. Previously, Carrie worked for Forest and Land Scotland (Galloway), then in several roles at the University of Cumbria including teaching conservation strategies and ecology, various research and development roles in outdoor learning and nature connection, and interdisciplinary land management and policy as the Development Officer at the Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas.

Clare de Villanueva

Following a masters degree in Geology from Durham University Clare worked in Canadian exploration geology. Clare moved from rocks to water while working in flood risk and hydropower, before finally finding her home in the world of trees. Clare has worked with Cumbria Woodlands since 2014 (on and off!), providing project management and consultancy services. She also works in conservation for the Ancient Tree Forum creating training and education resources for the protection of ancient trees.


This Ancient Woodland Restoration course has been developed and provided by Cumbria Woodlands in partnership with the Woodland Trust. The learning resources have been funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

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  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

  3. Classes End

  4. Estimated Effort

    approx. 4 hours per module