Small Woodland Owners’ Group
The Small Woodland Owners’ Group (SWOG) is an informal on-line network throughout Britain, formed so that owners can make contact with each other and the wider woodland scene.
SWOG helps woodland owners share their knowledge and experience with each other through a monthly on-line newsletter, and an on-line forum. Members arrange meetings, usually in their own woods, sometimes with a speaker. As well as being informative, these meetings give an opportunity for owners to meet others like themselves face to face. Membership is not restricted to actual owners, and is free.
Small Woods Association
The Small Woods Association promote the responsible management of woodlands. Members receive an introductory pack and copies of a regular magazine that is useful to woodland owners. They also have a helpline, run courses and put on regional and national events and conferences.
Royal Forestry Society
The Royal Forestry Society is a slightly conservative but very active charity whose objective is to “promote the wise management of trees and woods”. They have over 4,000 members and have been going for 125 years. As a member you will receive their Quarterly Journal of Forestry, which is definitely worth reading. The RFS also organises walks, talks, study tours and outdoor meetings mostly about woodlands.
The forestry bias is changing as the RFS recognises the increasing number of woodland owners whose objective is not primarily timber production. For anyone buying a woodland who is not a member we join you up to the RFS’s free trial year.
The Forestry Commission is a large government organisation, which is split into two parts – the one dealing with their own forests and the one that advises private owners. It is the latter which can help the woodland owner with free advice, grants and useful information. The FC have recently become much more supportive of owners of smaller woodlands, and the focus has gradually changed from exclusively timber production to include a very strong commitment to encouraging biodiversity, and recreational use.
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) is a national voluntary organisation whose main objective is to enable volunteers to work on conservation projects. Many of our purchasers began by joining in with the local BTCV volunteers to get a feel for how to look after a woodland, and to meet like-minded people. The organisation also runs useful courses and publishes excellent handbooks.
Each county or group of smaller counties has its own semi-independent Wildlife Trust, part of a national network. The Wildlife Trusts are dedicated to protecting and improving the natural environment by educating the public, and by enabling volunteers to take an active part in conservation projects. Often they run local courses on specific subjects of general interest.
Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales was created by bringing together the Forestry Commission Wales, Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency in Wales, as well as some other functions of Welsh Government. NRW is the principal adviser to the Welsh Government on the environment, enabling the sustainable development of Wales’ natural resources for the benefit of people, the economy and wildlife, manages their own forests, and also supports private woodland owners with free advice, grants and useful information.
Llais y Goedwig
Llais y Goedwig is a grassroots network of woodlands community groups & practitioners across Wales. Their activities include supporting knowledge and experience sharing and working to raise the profile of community woodlands with the general public and policy makers. Visit www.llaisygoedwig.org.uk for the latest community woodland news, events and resources, as well as a map of where groups are located, and details on how to join free of charge.