04 February 2019, 11:03

Celebrate Forestry Commission’s centenary during Saga short break from £299

The Forestry Commission celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019 and Saga guests can explore its woodlands during short-break holidays in Hampshire, Dorset and Gloucester.

Founded to restore the nation’s timber supplies after the First World War, the Forestry Commission is now England’s largest landowner and looks after more than 1,500 forests.

To mark the 100th anniversary, commemorative avenues, glades and individual trees will be planted by the commission during 2019.

Saga’s short breaks include:

Gardens of the Cotswolds 
Five nights’ half-board from £689
July 11, 2019

Admire the beauty of the Cotswolds with six garden visits including the 600-acre National Arboretum at Westonbirt, where a maple glade will be planted to mark the Forestry Commission’s centenary.

The arboretum has been in the care of the commission since 1956 and is one of the most spectacular tree gardens in the world with more than 3,000 tree and shrub species. Guests stay at the four-star Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall Hotel, an elegant Georgian property surrounded by countryside. A horticultural expert hosts the holiday and gives two illustrated talks.

New Forest Discovery, Hampshire
Four nights’ half-board from £329

April 28, June 9 and September 15, 2019

Moorhill House Hotel is a real hideaway to enjoy the peaceful New Forest location where ponies and deer roam nearby. With so many tracks and paths running across the forest the best way to explore is on foot, or bike hire can be arranged at the hotel reception. The nearest village, Burley, is a 10-minute stroll from Moorhill House.

Sandbanks Hotel, Dorset

Four nights’ half-board from £299

March 10, March 24, April 28, May 6 and 12, June 2 and 9 and September 15, 2019

From the four-star Sandbanks Hotel explore Beaulieu in the New Forest, with its motor museum, Palace House and beautiful grounds overlooking the Beaulieu River. The lovely hotel is beside the beach so guests can admire views over the English Channel, the Isle of Wight and the islands of Poole Harbour.

The hotel’s Sea View Restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine from locally-sourced ingredients.


The Forestry Commission was established in September 1919 and is England’s largest landowner. It looks after more than 1,500 forests and delivers internationally renowned research in sustainable forestry and helps other landowners make their woodlands more productive, better for wildlife and resilient to the challenges of a changing climate.

Commemorative avenues, glades and individual trees will be planted in autumn 2019 to mark centenary.

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Alex Brazier