FOR more than 20 years it has taken centre stage alongside stars such as Daniel Radcliffe, Gal Gadot, and Russell Crowe. Now, Bourne Wood has become the first woodlands to really make the cut. 

The Forestry England managed space, in Surrey, has been granted permanent change of status to include filming as well as forestry.

This means movie shoots will be able to continue to take place with greater ease and clearer management, allowing the agency to greater balance the local economic and social benefits seen from filming, while also looking after the site for people, wildlife, and the greater environment.

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Craig Harrison, forest management director for Forestry England’s South District, said: “At Forestry England, we take pride by caring for, and nurturing, our woodlands so that we can pass them on to the next generation in a healthier condition and resilient to future changes in our climate. 

"We want that next generation to be inspired by what woodlands can offer to society and to be involved in that story.

"At Bourne Wood we want to sustain the quality of public access and habitat management.

"We learnt a great deal over the 20 years that this woodland has been used as a film set and we’ve demonstrated how to carefully run these events in a way that cares for the special qualities of the woodland." 

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Bourne Wood became an iconic filming location both nationally and internationally after the opening sequence of Gladiator was shot there in 1999. With its unrivalled location, being under one hour from the film studios in the South East, and its cinematic views, it’s become a site of national significance to the UK film & TV industry.

Craig added: "This successful planning application means that we’ll be able to reinvest the income we generate through filming activities and selling timber back into looking after our forests and woodlands.”