Woodlands for people
"The wood that stays is the wood that pays."
The more products and services, the more highly regarded the wood will be in the local community: "The woodlands which survive are those which are of value, are worked. This is a small country; there's no value to wildwood. People are as much part of the ecology as birds."
But "value" means many different things: "Community woodlands range from a working forest to one hectare by a town; all are valued." Some community woodlands come from "development pressure. People just want the trees to be there."
What woodlands provide
Woodlands can provide products and services of benefit to the local community:
- Adventures, experiences, education: "I take groups of children to play in the woods roughing it promoting Forest Schools."
- Open access - even if someone doesn't go it's good to know it's there.
- Social benefits through providing job and training opportunities, reducing anti-social behaviour in the area. In the Borders, "youths with serious problems, labelled unemployable" are connecting with the work they do in woodlands.
- An events centre Wooplaw has had 2 weddings and a funeral... making and displaying crafts and sculpture... family visits... barbecues...
- Woodland products Sustainable firewood , and quality timber - but can community woodlands do this better than any other kind of woodland? The woods provide raw materials for buildings and structures - and more trees to plant! - "I take birch seedlings from here, and used tree tubes "
- Woodland management experience "Community woodland planting is often birch, rowan. What is the ongoing management plan?" ... "At one point we seemed chainsaw mad lots of chainsaw courses " - to keep people's essential chainsaw certificates up-to-date.
- A place to live? - see "Living in the woods"