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The history of Alice Holt forest can be traced back over 2000 years and is believed to have originated during the Atlantic period. Iron Age and Roman relics found within the forest point to a long history of human habitation. The forest has belonged to the crown since William the Conqueror adopted it as a Royal Hunting Forest. The Forestry Commission has actively managed the forest since 1924 and it has been the focus of research activities since 1946.
Alice Holt Forest Park covers 851 hectares of mainly Corsican pine but approximately 140 ha. of original 1820 oak still remain. The ancient forest is now a truly multi-purpose woodland where research, conservation, timber production and recreation co-exist.
Alice Holt Research Forest (AHRF) is one of three research forests in the UK (the others are the Dyfi Catchment and Woodland Research Platform, Gwynedd, Wales, and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Stirlingshire, Scotland). One of the main advantages to users of the AHRF is access to long term experimental and environmental data sets (including ECN data), ensuring that research and monitoring studies are carried out within a well-characterised environment. Forest Research is keen to encourage a wide range of forestry and environmental research at this site, and would welcome discussion about potential collaborations with interested individuals, institutes or universities (contact details are available here). You can read more about AHRF in this bulletin from the BES Forest Ecology Group (PDF file).