Toward the end of last year, Forestry Commission England ran their first Citizen Space consultation titled ‘Film Making at The Bourne – Planning Application’. The consultation focused on stakeholder views in order to help prepare a planning application which seeks to standardise the current filming activity on the land. Previous movies filmed in the Bourne Wood include Gladiator, Children of Men, The Golden Compass and a number of Harry Potter films.

Bourne Wood blurb

Forestry Commission have submitted an application which, if approved, would standardise the current usage of the land and allow for more flexibility. The application requests a change of use for the site from ‘forestry’ to ‘ongoing forestry with filming activity’. This would ensure that a reasonable amount of filming activity can continue on site without film companies having to reapply for planning permission on every occasion or the process being so long that they decide to film abroad. Filming is good for the tourist industry and economy of the area.

Location of Bourne Wood

Forestry Commission used their Citizen Space consultation to supplement an offline event attended by 120 people. The online survey utilised features such as the addition of a picture on the front page and fact banks to provide contextual information.

90% of the online respondents were positive towards the issue, whereas the feedback from the 120 people who attended an offline event was more negative. The use of an online survey allowed Forestry Commission to get a balanced view from people who use Bourne Wood. It also captured views from people who were not able to attend the event; if not for Citizen Space, these people wouldn’t have been heard.

“Citizen Space allowed us to hear from a broad range of individuals who provided a broader and more positive perspective than those who attended the event,” said Libby Burke of Forestry Commission.

The results of the consultation are currently still being analysed, however the general outcomes can be seen in the ‘We Asked, You Said, We Did’ section of the consultation.