Wooplaw Community Woodland Workshop, August 2007

Living in the woods

Something to aspire to - for the community

"I'm interested in how people working in and managing the woodlands can live in them… It's best to control who lives there - living there for the right reasons."

"We're looking into 'Ecopods' - made of local spruce/larch. People will own the building, but not the land - that makes it affordable."

One advantage of having someone live in the woodland is that it keeps it secure, stops vandalism.

Something to prevent

One of us was one of a group of householders who lived right next to a wood. They opposed the sale of a woodland for building, got involved in the planning process, and ended up buying the plot in order to prevent development.

Planning permission

"The key is community control - if the community wants it, then that will persuade the planners that development is OK in the woodland." We discussed examples, places where houses had been allowed, because they were essential to a business that derived from the wood.

Keeping housing affordable

If woodland is built on, the value of the land rockets, and can no longer be bought with the community's resources. Ways of tying the house to the land, and to working on the land, were discussed - and ways of making sure that the land itself continued to belong to the community.