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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.

Focusing on Old Hallo Woods, Bouth, 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.

The Community Woodland members of the Bouth Liaison Group 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
  • Install bird boxes for nesting
  • Harvest wood for fuel
  • Develop community woodland sites
  • Engage a wide range of locals

So far so good...

Update March 2017:.....

  • Old Hall Wood 'community woodland' operations in full swing.
  • 17 passionate locals involved in the group.
  • 12 volunteers trained in woodland management
  • Two work parties (49 volunteer days and 4 apprentice days) carrying out access improvements and woodland restoration.
  • Local school interest is good with a brilliant first woodland education session delivered.

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

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

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