Portfolio- Hainault Farm and Forest

Hainault Forest and Farm


Hainault Forest is a public open space extending for over 800 acres, containing Ancient Woodland, a SSSI and a farm visitor attraction.  The recreational area of the park is owned by the London Borough of Redbridge, managed by Vision. The majority of the woodland is owned by Essex County Council and managed by the Woodland Trust.

The Council were successful in achieving a Round 1 HLF heritage grant programme grant and CFP were appointed during the development phase to lead on business planning, looking at income generation through retail, catering and events. CFP were also appointed to lead on Activity Planning.

Our Role

CFP were commissioned to assist the Council and Trust with a £6.0m HLF heritage bid. We produced an activity plan and business plan for the ancient forest, country park and farm visitor attraction.

We carried out consultation and research and produced an options appraisal allowing for consideration of good practice from other projects across the country. We also undertook comprehensive market analysis reviewing local parks, national forest usage, retail and catering, regional industrial and craft lets and local education providers and room hire provision.

We presented options for cafe and catering provision, car parking, restoration and conversion of barns to accommodate events, conferences and community functions, education and learning and the use of other buildings for retail and use as industrial units. We also considered opportunities to introduce other specialist uses such as small scale accommodation and ‘glamping’. Throughout the development phase we worked with the design team ensuring that the results of our work fed into the overall designs for the space.

We assessed the full financial impact and implications of proceeding to delivery of the Hainault Ancient Forest Project, and the trading profile developed for the business plan demonstrated how the Trust would meet new financial commitments arising from the project.

Outcomes and Results

CFP successfully produced an Activity Plan and a comprehensive Business Plan and supported the project development and Round 2 submission at Hainault Ancient Forest.

For more of our work on Business Planning please follow the link.

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