Use the Forestry Commission map browser and Land Information Search

Find woodland agreements, felling licences and other designations or features on any chosen area of land in England.

Applies to England

Forestry Commission map browser

The Forestry Commission map browser allows you to view data layers published by the Forestry Commission and to see how they interact with areas of land you have an interest in. You are able to draw features, measure boundaries and distances and print the maps you have created. Use our guidance Forestry Commission map browser and Land Information Search: operations note 48 to help you use the new features.

Not all data layers that are relevant to forestry are available on the map browser, so you should also check MAGIC as part of any map searches that you are doing.

The Forestry Commission map browser has a direct link to the map request form webpage, should you need an OS MasterMap for a forestry related application.

The Land Information Search (LIS) is a search tool within the browser with over 100 spatial data layers that allows you to search for land designations or features, such as National Nature Reserves, and grant schemes or felling permissions in an identified location.

The LIS report produced identifies constraints and opportunities that can then be used to aid planning of woodland activity. It helps to identify who you need to speak to as part of that planning process or if you need to apply for any additional permissions or consents from other bodies. It also provides scoring information for different woodland creation grants.

The information generated by this LIS is only for England - a search in each country will be required for properties that cross borders.

Planning a woodland creation project

The Land Information Search (LIS) tool can help you understand opportunities and constraints of land for woodland creation. The Forestry Commission’s Woodland Creation Planning Grant can help pay for screening of sites so it’s worth considering whether you would like to submit an application before you undertake this work.

Checking for Constraints

Running a LIS against the boundary of the land you are considering will highlight any protections and other barriers that would impact on tree planting proposals. This includes identifying protected sites that are unlikely to be suitable for tree planting or which may need separate permissions to allow activity to take place, or other constraining features such as peat soils, or priority habitats that need to be preserved. However, not all possible constraints are available in LIS, there is no non-designated archaeological or cultural heritage data, for example.

Checking for Opportunities

The search will also indicate markers to show that tree planting is beneficial or at low risk of affecting protected features and landscapes or supported by public funds. Try to focus applications to the ‘Low Risk to Woodland Creation’ dataset and consider avoiding land within 2km of the boundary of SPA and RAMSAR sites.

Checking for Existing Obligations

Look at the search for other agri-environment grant schemes that are currently live as there may be a penalty for schemes that are terminated prematurely.

Making further checks

If the land holding is looking promising for your woodland creation project, you may want to undertake additional localised investigations, although these checks may have modest charges for services and advice. For example, some further checks include:

  • acquiring the Historic Environment Record and an assessment of features that may be affected by tree planting
  • acquiring the Biodiversity Records for the site, to assess what records might be adversely affected by tree planting
  • walking the site to look for localised features not recorded on datasets. This might include veteran trees, fragments of priority habitats, wet flushes, organic rich soils, private water supplies, private ways, permissive access, and wayleaves

Free maps

The map request form webpage is available via the map browser. You can download the map request form from the Forestry Commission to develop a map of your woodland site.

Contact the Forestry Commission

If you cannot access the Land Information Search, or you encounter any problems while using this system, contact the support team at

Published 6 July 2018
Last updated 25 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added downtime information.

  2. Note to let users know of essential downtime.

  3. Note added: The Forestry Commission Map Browser will be unavailable for 24 hours from 09:00 on Tuesday 16 August 2022, while essential updates are made to the system. It will be ready for use again on Wednesday 17 August.

  4. Information added about using LIS to support woodland creation planning

  5. Updated to reflect that the map browser will be unavailable on Tuesday 15 January.

  6. The Forestry Commission Map Browser will be unavailable between 22 and 23 December 2021.

  7. Information about the Land Information Search updated.

  8. The Land Information Search service will be unavailable between 08:00 and 18:00 Friday 1st October for essential maintenance.

  9. Notice of maintenance work removed.

  10. Notice added for disruption due to web updates.

  11. Removing downtime information as system is now available.

  12. Addition of downtime information for the service.

  13. The following information has been added: The Forestry Commission map browser will be taken offline at 1pm on Wednesday 8 January 2020. It will be available again by 5pm on the same day. This is to allow for essential maintenance.

  14. Removal of Christmas contact cover information.

  15. Update to include information for emergency cover over the Christmas 2019 period.

  16. Following essential maintenance being carried out from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesday 17 July 2019, the map browser and Land Information Search are now available to use again.

  17. The following notice has been added to this page: 'The map browser and Land Information Search will not be available from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesday 17 July 2019. This is due to essential maintenance being carried out'.

  18. Removing downtime message.

  19. Advice of system maintenance time.

  20. First published.