Forestry and Natural Heritage

Turtle crossing sign in the forest

The County of Middlesex owns and manages the County Forest which consists of 1040 hectares (2500 acres) within 27 tracts. See below and find out all of the services the Department of Forestry and Natural Heritage provides.  

Trees trunks and greenery
Management & Conservation

Middlesex County currently owns 2,500 acres of woodlands. The County Forest is managed in accordance with a 20‐year Management Plan and five‐year operational plans. In addition, we believe that private landowners have a key role to play to ensure that sustainably managed forests remain a part of Ontario’s future. By‐law 5738 regulates the cutting of trees within woodlands on private property under the Municipal Act. Go to our Management & Conservation page to learn more. 

Two deer

Hunting is permitted in all woodlots owned by the County of Middlesex. Hunting is regulated under the authority of the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry. Go to our Hunting page to learn more. 

Path to a forest
Natural Heritage Planning

Natural Heritage Planning establishes a County-wide comprehensive view of significant natural heritage features. The 2003 Middlesex Natural Heritage Study was incorporated into the County Official Plan in 2006 and has served as the basis for natural heritage planning at the County and municipal levels. In 2014, a Middlesex Natural Heritage Systems Study (MNHSS) was completed on behalf of the County and endorsed in principle by County Council as the basis of future natural heritage planning. Go to our Natural Heritage Planning page to learn more. 

Spongy (gypsy) moth caterpillars
Weeds & Pests

The Weed Control Act regulates noxious weeds growing in close proximity to agricultural crop lands and commercial horticultural lands. Within Middlesex, the County’s ‘Area Weed Inspector’ is also appointed by each local municipality to be the ‘Municipal Weed Inspector.’ Responding primarily to complaints, the Weed Inspector works with staff from local municipalities and other agencies. Weeds can be ordered to be cut, or cut by the County with costs applied to property taxes in accordance with the Municipal Act. Go to our Weeds & Pests page to learn more.