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© Colin Barr

Share Wood

Engaging the community in the management of one or more woodlands, harvesting and extracting coppice to provide materials a variety of products including craft items and woodfuel.

The Share Wood project involves the community in the practical management of their local woodland. People are learning more about their local wood, practicing newly learnt skills, helping to restore coppices and improve the woods for wildlife, harvesting firewood for themselves and their community and enjoying social, health and wellbeing benefits.

There are now two community woodland groups:

The Community Woodland members of both groups can continue to manage their woodland well into the future. We aim to:

  • Develop new community woodlands
  • Restore woodland coppice
  • Train volunteers in woodland management skills
  • Organise volunteer days
  • Provide employment for local contractors
  • Monitor wildlife and maintain habitat
  • Install bird boxes for nesting
  • Harvest wood for fuel
  • Develop community woodland sites
  • Engage a wide range of locals
Images:
works to divert the runoff from the track

So far so good...

Update March 2019:.....

  • 17 passionate locals involved in the 'Community Woodland' project at Old Hall Woods. Bouth.
  • 10 passionate locals in involved in a second Community Woodland project at 'TOPS' wood. Bessie Bank. near Oxen Park, started in Autumn 2018
  • Bird boxes installed in both woodlands in early 2019, being investigated by blue tits, great tits and nuthatches!
  • 12 volunteers trained in woodland management
  • Regular monthly work parties carrying out access improvements and woodland restoration.
  • Three new coppice areas in Old Hall Wood made to open up glades for wildlife and multi-age stands
  • 30 dormouse boxes installed in Old Hall Wood and being monitored.
  • New roadside path made from Snows turn to 'loading bay' in Old Hall Wood
  • Wall -gap re-built in Old Hall Wood, with drainage and stepping stones from 'coffin road' along bottom of wood.
  • Local school interest is good with a brilliant first woodland education session delivered.
  • Drainage improved on lower path near Old Hall Farm to divert run-off from Dick Hill green road.
  • New bench installed on lower path in Old Hall Wood, and another repaired.

Did you know?

  • There are over 700 community woodland groups in the UK helping to manage our woods.
  • Old Hall Woods in Bouth covers 37ha with 28ha being Broadleaf.
  • Over 100 products can be made from a coppice coup.

Media

  • Watch (1 video)

    Share Wood Bouth

    So far.......a short film on the work of the Share Wood group at Old Hall Wood, Bouth

Project Lead

Rusland Horizons Staff Team

The Challenge

The long-established working relationship between people and nature is essential to the long-term sustainability of the tranquil, Rusland Horizons scheme area, but woodlands in the area are undermanaged. This means that their character is changing, resulting in even-aged stands of trees that will all reach maturity at the same time making the woodland vulnerable in future when the trees age and begin to die. Habitat structure is also declining, leading to loss of species. Sudden losses can occur through strong winds or disease, threatening the future viability of the woodland. Local communities too, are under threat - there is a growing disconnect between people and the natural environment, farming and the landscape they live in. This is accompanied by an increased number of second home owners who are often away from the area, and of people living sedentary lifestyles.

Our Approach

We are working with local people to set up and coordinate community groups to assist with woodland management in the area. By providing access to information, equipment, expertise and sites we hope to increase the number of woodlands managed by communities. The community will develop a better understanding of how land management decisions are made whilst improving their wildlife monitoring skills and awareness of biodiversity. Increasing understanding around woodfuel practises will hopefully lead to a local sustainable source of firewood.

© Rusland Horizons 2017 - 2019. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons is a Landscape Partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

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