Delamere Forest is managed by the Forestry Commission, and comprises c.1,000 hectares of mixed deciduous and coniferous woodland in the northern section of the Sandstone Ridge.
Delamere, which means "forest of the lakes", is all that remains of the great Forests of Mara and Mondrem which covered over 60 square miles (160 km2) of this part of Cheshire. Established in the late 11th century, they were the hunting forests of the Norman Earls of Chester. Order was maintained under forest law. It was not until ownership passed to The Crown in 1812 that the ancient laws were abolished. In 1924 the woodland came under the control of the Forestry Commission.
The area also includes Pale Heights, the high point of the northern mass of the Sandstone Ridge, as well as Blakemere Moss, a lake around 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) in length. Black Lake, a rare example of quaking bog or schwingmoor, has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and forms part of an international Ramsar site; Linmer Moss has also been designated an SSSI for its fenland habitat. The white-faced darter, a species of dragonfly rare in the UK, and marsh fern and white sedge, wetland plants that are rare in Cheshire, are found here.
Delamare Forest is the largest wooded area in Cheshire and plays an important role in the local economy supporting a wide range of jobs directly through the timber industry and increasingly through leisure and tourism. The demand for public access into the forest for education, recreation and leisure has increased dramatically over the last 10 years and there are now over 700,000 day visitors to Delamere Forest alone.
The main objectives of the Forestry Commission for the Forest are the continued production of commercial conifers and broadleaves balanced with the provision of informal recreation; the restoration of former ancient woodland sites, to manage the forest for biodiversity and to make the economic potential of the forest more resilient in the face of a changing climate, pests and diseases.