Managing a Woodland
Once you have bought your woodland, the first thing you need to do is to get to know it. You will probably have already walked it thoroughly, but remember that woodlands are very different with each season. So we recommend that you take your time and observe the various seasonal changes before you make a start on any major project.
You will probably want to do some background reading and research before making too many plans. There are many books and publications (see the recommended reading list below) that you will find helpful and interesting. You will probably want to find out about the various grants that are available, and you can find out about these from your local Forestry Commission Woodlands Officer if in England, and from Natural Resources Wales Woodland Officer if in Wales. You can make an appointment to meet him (or her) at your woodland, and he will give you good advice not just on grants but also on felling controls and general woodland management.
Please remember that you cannot start felling trees in your woodland without first obtaining permission from the Forestry Commission (in the form of a "Felling Licence"). This permission will not be unreasonably withheld if the work you are undertaking is for good woodland management purposes. If you would like to clear fell any part of your woodland you will be required to agree to restock the area with more trees.
If in doubt, consult your local Woodlands Officer. These controls are there to protect our forests, and you may be prosecuted if you contravene them. However, having said all of that, you are allowed (without a Felling License) to fell up to 5 cubic metres of timber per calendar quarter for your own use.
You may feel confident (and competent) enough to manage your woodland all on your own (with maybe a little advice from the Forestry Commission). However, if you do not, and would like some professional help, please contact us and we can help. We can give you casual advice, write a full management plan, or actually get contractors in to do the work for you. Please have a look at our sister web site Red Rock Forestry.
Available from Amazon
- 'Badgers, beeches and blisters - getting started in your own wood', by Julian Evans. ISBN 0-9541947-1-3. An introduction to first-time small woodland owners.
- 'Woodland management - a practical guide' by Chris Starr. Published by The Crowood Press, ISBN 1-86126-789-4. A highly recommended practical text on woodland management.
- 'A Wood Of Our Own', by Julian Evans. The story of a small private family woodland, published in 1995 by Oxford University Press.
- 'What Happened To Our Wood', by Julian Evans. A description of some of the work done and its effects to the small family woodland. Published by Patula Books.
- 'The Foresters Companion', by N.D.G. James. Published by Basil Blackwell (ISBN 0 631 12797 6). A fairly comprehensive forestry text.
- 'Fencing' by Elizabeth Agate, published by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (ISBN 0 946752 04 4).
Available from www.nhbs.com
- 'Woodlands', by Alan Brooks, published by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (ISBN 0 9501643 7 2). A good practical guide to work in the woods.
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