Bracknell Forest

Bracknell Forest is one of six unitary authority areas within Berkshire in southern England. It covers the three towns of Bracknell, Sandhurst and Crowthorne and also includes the areas of North Ascot, Warfield and Winkfield. Parts of the borough border neighbouring boroughs such as Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. The south of the borough also borders parts of Surrey and Hampshire.

Bracknell Forest
Shown within Berkshire
Shown within Berkshire
Coordinates: 51°25′01″N 0°44′49″W / 51.417°N 0.7469°WCoordinates: 51°25′01″N 0°44′49″W / 51.417°N 0.7469°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial CountiesBerkshire
StatusUnitary authority
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyBracknell Forest Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPs:Adam Afriyie
Phillip Lee
 • Total42.23 sq mi (109.38 km2)
Area rank209th (of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total121,676
 • Rank190th (of 317)
 • Density2,900/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code00MA (ONS) E06000036 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU871694


Bracknell Forest was formed on 1 April 1974, as the non-metropolitan district of Bracknell. The district took on the territory of the former Easthampstead Rural District (in which the Bracknell new town had been developed). It changed its name in May 1988, at the same time as it was granted borough status.

On 1 April 1998, Berkshire County Council was abolished, as a consequence of the Banham Review, and Bracknell Forest Borough Council became a unitary authority. From 2008, references to 'borough' were phased out in favour of simply Bracknell Forest Council.

Since 1973, Bracknell Forest has been twinned with Opladen in Germany, continued by Leverkusen after Opladen's incorporation in 1975.

There are 265 Listed Buildings in the borough of which 254 are Grade II, 10 are Grade II* and 1 is Grade I.

There are five sites in the borough included on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens: Ascot Place, Broadmoor Hospital, Newbold College, South Hill Park and Windsor Great Park.[1]

Bracknell Forest Borough Council's offices at Time Square in Market Street were featured in an episode of Road Wars on 4 February 2010 when a pursuit ended in the carpark.


Two rivers run through Bracknell Forest: the River Blackwater forms the borough's southern boundary, and the Cut meanders through the northern parishes. These receive water from small streams within the borough namely the Bull Brook in the north which feeds into the Cut and the Wish stream which flows into the River Blackwater. The built and developed proportion of the Borough amounts to about 35% of the total land area. Extensive forests cover more than 20% of the total area, consisting principally of parts of Windsor Forest; predominantly conifer plantation owned and managed by the Crown Estate and Forestry Commission. Agricultural land covers 24% of the land, located mainly in the north of the borough.

More than 20% of the borough is recognised as being of a high wildlife value and protected by some form of designation. Nine sites in Bracknell Forest are designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), comprising 1911.5 hectares or 17.48% of the Borough's total area. The largest, Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods & Heaths SSSI was designated in 2001 to include the majority of Swinley Forest.

The Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA), 1356 hectares of which lie within Bracknell Forest (Sandhurst to Owlsmoor Bogs and Heaths SSSI and the Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI), supports nationally important populations of Dartford warblers, nightjars and woodlarks, all of which are Annex I species of the Birds Directive, and a small breeding population of hobbies, an important migratory species in a European context.


Bracknell Forest is generally affluent (ranked 291 out of 326 on the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010, Rank of Average Score)[2] with significantly lower than average unemployment levels. Property prices and levels of car ownership are significantly higher than the national average.[3] According to the Office for National Statistics figures the borough's population is 113,696.[4] 77% of the borough's population, aged between 16 and 74 years are economically active with the service sector employing the largest proportion, 46.4% of this group. Only 11% of the population is of pensionable age, compared to a national average of 18%, with 7% being over 75 years old.[3]

There are many distinctive local geographical communities within Bracknell Forest, from Sandhurst and Crowthorne in the south, the semi-rural communities of Binfield, Winkfield and Warfield in the north and the former new town of Bracknell in the centre, which contains most of the Borough's commercial and industrial areas.[5]

With respect to ethnicity, according to the Office for National Statistics, the majority of the Borough's residents (89.6%) consider themselves to be 'White'. The second largest group is defined as 'Asian' at 4.34%, third as 'Black' at 2.35%, fourth as Mixed at 1.82%.[6] With regard to religious affiliation, the population is predominantly Christian (77.8%), followed by those who have no religion (19.4%), Hindus (1.1%), Muslims (0.7%), Buddhists (0.3%), other religions (0.3%), Jews (0.2%) and Sikhs (0.2%).[7]

The population is quite healthy comparing well regionally and nationally with life expectancy at 80.15 years.[8]


Bracknell Forest is a base for high-tech industries and home to companies such as Panasonic, Fujitsu (formerly ICL) and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sharp Corporation, Tracks Laser & Electronics and LSI Corporation. The software development and computer services side of the industry also thrives in Bracknell Forest and includes companies like Cable and Wireless, Honeywell, Avnet, Novell, and RSA Security. Pharmaceutical and engineering companies also draw together in Bracknell Forest, these include Boehringer Ingelheim, Syngenta, Minebea, Daler-Rowney and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Bracknell is also home to the central Waitrose distribution centre and head office which is on a 70-acre (280,000 m2) site on the Southern Industrial Estate. Waitrose has operated from the town since the 1970s. The town is also home to the headquarters of Avis Europe.

Swinley Forest

There is no forest called 'Bracknell Forest'. This name is often confused with Swinley Forest (or Woods), which is an area of the Windsor Estate between Bracknell and Bagshot. Owned and managed by the Crown Estates, it comprises 2,600 acres (11 km2) of woodland (mainly Scots pine). It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and has protected areas for the birds that live there.

It also provides some of the best mountain biking in South-East England, with many off-road 'single-track' trails available as well as plenty of fire roads. Mountain biking is permitted with a permit. In recent years, Swinley forest has also been used as a filming location for a number of films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2.[9]

Civil parishes


  1. ^ Life is for living Two Cultural Strategy 2008 – 2012.$LifeisforLiving.doc.pdf Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 2012-10-15, p. 12.
  2. ^ Department for Communities and Local Government, Indices of Deprivation 2010, Archived 3 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b All of Us Community Cohesion Strategy, p19, Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 15 March 2012
  4. ^ 2010 ONS Population Estimates Unit published tables, Office for National Statistics Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2011, Archived 31 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ All of Us Community Cohesion Strategy, p18, Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 15 March 2012
  6. ^ Estimated resident population by ethnic group and age mid-2009 experimental statistics Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 15 March 2012
  7. ^ Census 2001 Summary theme figures and rankings – Ethnicity and Religion, Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 15 March 2012
  8. ^ All of Us Community Cohesion Strategy, p20, Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 15 March 2012
  9. ^ "Bracknell Forest Landscape Evidence Base: Draft Report" (PDF). Bracknell Forest Council. LUC London. June 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016.

External links

2015 Bracknell Forest Borough Council election

The 2015 Bracknell Forest Borough Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect all the members of Bracknell Forest Borough Council in England to coincide with other local elections, an election which was held simultaneously with the 2015 General Election, resulting in higher turnout than the previous election.

2019 Bracknell Forest Borough Council election

The 2019 Bracknell Forest Borough Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect members of Bracknell Forest Borough Council in England.

The Conservative Party has controlled the council since its establishment as a unitary authority in 1997.


Billingbear is a village in Berkshire, England, within the civil parish of Binfield. Billingbear House was in the adjoining parish of Waltham St Lawrence. The settlement lies between the A329(M) and M4 motorways, and is located near to the interchange of the two roads.

Bracknell Forest Borough Council elections

Bracknell Forest is a unitary authority in Berkshire, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district.

Bracknell Forest Council

Bracknell Forest Council, also known as Bracknell Forest Borough Council is the local authority of Bracknell Forest in Berkshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.

It consists of 42 councillors that are elected from 18 wards.

Brakenhale Academy

The Brakenhale School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form located in Bracknell in the English county of Berkshire.Berkshire County Council opened the school in 1958 as Borough Green City Secondary Modern School. It was later renamed The Brakenhale School. In April 1998 it became a community school administered by Bracknell Forest Council. In April 2016 The Brakenhale School converted to academy status and is now sponsored by the Greenshaw Learning Trust. However the school continues to coordinate with Bracknell Forest Council for admissions.

Brakenhale offers GCSEs and BTECs as programmes of study for pupils, while students in the sixth form have the option to study a range of A Levels and additional BTECs.

Caesar's Camp, Bracknell Forest

Caesar's Camp is an Iron Age hill fort around 2400 years old. It is located just in Crowthorne civil parish to the south of Bracknell in the English county of Berkshire. It falls within the Windsor Forest and is well wooded, although parts of the fort have now been cleared of some trees. The area is managed by the Forestry Commission but owned by Crown Estate, and is open and accessible to the public. The hill fort covers an area of about 17.2 acres (7 hectares) and is surrounded by a mile-long ditch, making it one of the largest in southern England.


Crowthorne is a village and civil parish in the Bracknell Forest district of south-eastern Berkshire. It had a population of 6,711 at the 2001 census, increasing to 6,902 at the 2011 Census. Crowthorne is best known for Wellington College, a large co-educational boarding and day independent school, which opened in 1859 and for Broadmoor Hospital, one of three maximum security psychiatric hospitals in England, which lies on the eastern periphery of the town.

Easthampstead Park School

Easthampstead Park School is a coeducational comprehensive school located in Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire, England, for pupils aged 11–18. It was designated as a Sports College in 2009.The headteacher is Liz Cook.The school uses an initiative called Consistency Management and Co-operative Discipline (CMCD). The school won The Diana Anti Bullying award in January 2009 for their work in peer mentoring.

The school was opened in 1972 at which time it occupied the mansion that is now Easthampstead Park Conference Centre. Its first Headteacher was Derrick Hurd who had previously been the first Headteacher at John Mason School in Abingdon. Coincidentally John Mason had been the keeper of the Easthampstead Park estate in 1548.

Edgbarrow School

Edgbarrow School is a secondary comprehensive school in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England. The school is the main state secondary school in the area, and includes Edgbarrow Sixth Form College. It previously held the title of a Business and Enterprise College as a specialist school.

The school has approximately 1,230 pupils, most of whom come from Crowthorne schools, such as Wildmoor Heath School and Oaklands School. The school teaches 11- to 18-year-olds, and has some of the best results in Bracknell Forest at GCSE of any non-selective state schools.

Garth Hill College

Garth Hill College (also Garth Hill and Garth) is a secondary school in Bracknell, England and is on the same site as the Wick Hill Centre, which is now part of Bracknell and Wokingham College . It was created as Garth Hill School (a Comprehensive) in September 1969 from an amalgamation of Wick Hill Secondary Modern School (opened 1956) and neighbouring Garth Grammar School (opened 1965), the name of the latter referring to a former local fox hunt. The school underwent a £40 million rebuild in 2010, opened by HRH Princess Anne the same year. The School has recently gained yet another new building for the sixth form of Garth Hill, costing £6 million and opened in 2015 by the Mayor of Bracknell.

Past students include Adrian Williams the former Reading and Wales footballer, currently a sports presenter with Radio Berkshire, Daniela Relph a news correspondent with the BBC, 4 times World Motocross Champion David Thorpe and Welsh national footballer Melissa Fletcher. The current principal is Mr K G Grainger, also known as Chief Keith or Grainger Danger.

The college is split into 4 houses - Brownlow, Lawrence, Haversham and Fielden. They are all named after key figures who have helped the town of Bracknell, where the school is located, in some way, for example Charles Brownlow, who built Brownlow hall in the Warfield area and Thomas Lawrence owner of a nearby, but now defunct, brickworks. Each house also represents a subject group. Brownlow represents science and technology, Lawrence - language and communications, Fielden - Maths & information studies and Haversham - Physical, creative and moral studies.

Heathfield School, Ascot

Heathfield School is a girls' independent boarding and day school in Ascot, Berkshire, England. In 2006, the school absorbed St Mary's School, Wantage and was briefly named Heathfield St Mary's School but reverted to Heathfield School in 2009 to try to avoid confusion with the nearby St Mary's School, Ascot. The school's grounds cover 36 acres (15 ha) situated on the edge of Ascot (actually in Bracknell Forest), providing access from London, the major airports, the M3 and M4 motorways.

Lawrence Hill, Berkshire

Lawrence Hill is a northern suburb of Bracknell in the English county of Berkshire. It stands within the civil parish of Warfield.

The settlement lies near to the A3095 road and is approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) north-east of Bracknell.

List of places in Berkshire

This is a list of places in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England. It does not include places which were formerly in Berkshire. For places which were formerly in Berkshire, see list of places transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire in 1974, and for places which were transferred from Berkshire in 1844 and 1889, see list of Berkshire boundary changes.

List of schools in Bracknell Forest

This is a list of schools in Bracknell Forest, in the English county of Berkshire.

Sandhurst School

Sandhurst School is a secondary school in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England. Sandhurst School has over 1000 pupils and specialises in science.

The Warren, Bracknell Forest

The Warren is a suburban area in Berkshire, England, and a conurbation of Bracknell, adjacent to the large expanses of Swinley Forest, part of the Crown Estate. The Warren and the neighbouring suburb Martins Heron are after a Parliamentary Boundary review in the Bracknell constituency - until 2010 they were in the Windsor Constituency. It is in Harmans Water ward, which also includes parts of Bullbrook, and The Parks.The settlement lies near to the Waterloo to Reading Line, and is served by Martins Heron railway station. The village is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-east of Bracknell town centre.


Warfield is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire and the Borough of Bracknell Forest.


Winkfield is a village and civil parish in the Bracknell Forest unitary authority of Berkshire, England.

Unitary authorities
Major settlements
Settlements in Bracknell Forest
Civil parishes
Bracknell suburbs
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