Holly Hayes is an Ancient Semi Natural Woodland located on the western edge of Charnwood Forest in The National Forest. The site is a hidden gem between Whitwick and Coalville in North West Leicestershire and is traversed by The Ivanhoe Way.


CEP Holly Hayes is the conservation and land management arm of Coalville Education Partnership ltd. The staff and students of the Community Interest Company are restoring and managing the wood to rescue fragile wildlife communities from the untamed march of holly and rampant bramble.

This page charts the progress of the project and exhibits the diverse wildlife found in this beautiful woodland.

Below is a useful video from the Holly Hayes site manager explaining why members of the public may see some trees that have been marked for felling and other trees that have been cut down. This is done for two main reasons. Safety of visitors and to benefit more valuable and emerging trees and flora. Some marked trees may not be felled after monitoring and reconsideration.

Our priority is the safety of visitors and when we know a tree is at risk of falling or dropping limbs on people, we must take action. Some trees will be replaced with new planting, some will not and natural regeneration will take place. This is a restorative process aimed at achieving Holly Hayes Wood's full potential as a wildlife haven and flagship National Forest Woodland.

"We went out to find Keyans bench and he was absolutely made up when he found it. He absolutely loves it. He loves walking in the woods, probably one of his favourite places to be and knows it like the back of his hand. He is always asking questions and has enjoyed seeing it being looked after. The best thing he likes to do on our walks is have a good sit down, every time he seen a new bench go in he would have to have a sit on it so when he seen one with his name on he laughed so much. He took photos and sent to his friend. The next day his friend come round so they could go to the bench together. 


He is absolutely made up with it and I’m sure it will get some good use when we are out on our walks most days. 


I can’t thank you enough for the bench and all of the works in the woods, it’s such a special place for me. As I child I would spend a lot of time in Holly Hayes woods and have many fond memories so it’s so important to me that its looked after for future generations. Not just my children but their children and grandchildren can enjoy the same beauty that we do now. 


Thank you."  - Gemma, Whitwick

Keyan Bench 4
Keyan Bench 3
Keyan Bench 2
Keyan Bench 1
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