Tracks and Gates
Your woodland may have an access directly to the public road, but more usually you will be sharing the use of a track with other owners. Where the track meets the road, there will be a locked gate, to which you all have keys. This gate protects everyone from dumping, and theft of cut wood or equipment, and should be kept locked at all times. You will be given keys, as soon as your purchase has been completed.
The shared track is usually retained in our ownership, but the responsibility for its upkeep is with the users, who have undertaken to contribute “according to usage”. Repairs to the track may be undertaken by the owners themselves, with a working party, or they may involve hiring machinery and a driver and possibly materials like crushed stone. In our experience these repairs are not often needed if owners have been sensible in the way they use the track, particularly in wet conditions. If you are going to extract timber from your wood, it is wise to ensure that this happens in dry conditions, and that your contractor is going to make good any damage he does to the track. It is also important to make sure that surface water can flow freely through culverts – these are pipes that carry water from one side of the track to the other.
It is well known that wide sunny tracks are very valuable for encouraging butterflies and all kinds of insects, and also insect-eating birds. Whether or not the shrubs and trees at the edge of your wood are actually on the land we have retained, we are more than happy for you to clear them away to admit more light. A sunny track also dries out more quickly and more completely, thus reducing the need for maintenance work.