Working across forest estates
If you need assistance with a tourism, visitor experience or recreation project please don’t hesitate to call or email Richard Linington on 07866 742628 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Working as forestry consultants, with a focus on recreation and tourism, Planning Solutions Consulting has been providing support and expertise to a range of clients across forestry sites to improve and develop the visitor experience and tourism economy by sharing our knowledge and expertise to inspire change and growth. We also work with a network of specialists from landscape architects through to masterplanners, ecologists and architects. Working in forests is complex there is a need to achieve a careful balance between forestry operations, the commercial needs associated with visitors, environmental sustainability and wider community considerations. Forest recreation also presents a number of opportunities related to health and wellbeing. However, it is important to recognise that these are working forests, where timber production is a critical element of forestry management. To findout more about some of the forest tourism and recreation projects we have worked on please click here.
Site and market assessments and business planning
We have been working with Forest Holidays for over 20 years. Our work has focussed on carrying out site evaluations through to market assessments and preparing supporting business plans. We have worked at a number of sites from Blackwood Forest through to Beddgelert, Delamere Forest, Thorpe Forest, Sherwood Forest and the Forest of Dean.
Visitor centre management in forests
Working with Natural Resources Wales, we carried out a review of options, opportunities and risks associated with managing and developing visitor centres.
Forest visitor accommodation to support mountain biking and walking tourism
Working with Natural Resources Wales, we carried out assessments of multiple forest blocks across Wales to evaluate their suitability to introduce visitor accommodation. This was to support the development of walking and mountain biking. For the preferred development site, we prepared a financial model and development options in terms of different forms of sustainable visitor accommodation.
Aerial walkway forecasting visitor numbers
At CONKERS, we worked closely with the operations team and carried out a module of research to help with forecasting visitor numbers for a proposed aerial walkway.
Transforming Queen Elizabeth Country Park
Working with Hampshire County Council, we prepared the visitor transformation masterplan for Queen Elizabeth Country Park, which covers some 600 hectares. We also prepared masterplans for four other country parks managed by the Council and our work supported an £18m transformation programme.
Bedgebury Pinetum business planning
Working with the project team at Bedgebury Pinetum on behalf of the Forestry Commission, we prepared the business case to support the transformation of the site into a leading forest recreation destination.
Tree Top Walk feasibility study
Working with the Forestry Commission we also examined the potential to introduce a new concept visitor attraction in the UK – a major tree top walk. The work helped to identify different development options which had the potential to act as a catalyst for long-term development within different forest blocks.
Business planning for luxury forest lodges linked to a camping site
On behalf of the Rempstone Estate, we carried out a feasibility study to develop luxury forest lodges alongside an existing camping businesses. The work supported a successful development project
Forest visitor attraction – a gateway to the National Forest
CONKERS a £19 million project, has been developed in 2 phases. It includes 3 cafes / restaurants, specialist retail, education centre, two lakes, woodland, all ability trails, interactive and hi-tech exhibits, narrow gauge railway, high ropes, covered amphitheatre, event programmes, corporate offer, adventure play area, indoor play areas, interpretation and interactive experiences and a major viewing platform. We worked with KMPG to prepare the business plan which helped to secure development funding.
What makes us different?
Our sister company Planning Solutions Limited manages a range of tourism and leisure businesses, including:
- CONKERS Discovery Centre located in the National Forest
- Kent Life Heritage Farm Park
- The National Brewery Centre (formerly the Bass Museum)
- Cotswold Country Park and Beach, outdoor recreation site with strong water based activity offer
- Four high ropes aerial adventures
- A hotel
We have a unique understanding of how successful visitor experiences and tourism businesses work. We have found that this practical operational experience helps to create a significant positive impact when working on development projects and brings a strong commercial realism to projects to help ensure projects are financially sustainable.
Our clients have written several testimonials:
“Planning Solutions Consulting Limited were contracted by Natural Resources Wales to undertake a short exercise examining the potential, opportunities and risks around running visitor centres. We found Planning Solutions Consulting to be efficient and thorough, applying their expertise in a professional manner throughout. They were able to add value for us to the contract, by suggesting new elements. The draft and final reports were of an excellent standard and addressed all aspects of our brief well. Communications throughout – and since – the contract have been great – the team were approachable, reachable and able to answer queries and address new points well.” Roz Owen, Recreation and Access Manager, Natural Resources Wales
“PSC worked with the Forestry Commission to evaluate potential uses within one of our popular forest recreation sites in England. The objective was to set out the strategic development direction in terms of leisure and other uses which could be complementary to the existing recreation activities. The work involved a detailed market assessment, consulting with our onsite staff and producing a scoring matrix to identify the preferred end uses. We built a very positive working relationship with PSC. They had a very hands-on approach to the work and Kevin and Richard’s wealth of experience and operational knowledge was very beneficial. We would be very pleased to work with PSC in the future.” David Chalmers MRICS, Central England Forest District, Forestry Commission
Here are some other testimonials from clients.
How can we help?
If you have any questions about carrying out an options appraisal or preparing a visitor experience masterplan or supporting business case for a forest recreation site or forest estate please don’t hesitate to call Richard Linington on 07866 742628 or email email@example.com