New survey finds owners of small woodlands are extremely active managers

A new survey of about 180 woodland owners has discovered that they are very focused on doing work in their woods to improve conservation.  About two thirds of these active managers make clearings and plant trees.  They also improve tracks and coppice the chestnut and hazel.

Owners are also active learners: many have been on training courses, a large majority take advice from woodland organisations and they actively share information with neighbouring woodland owners.  80% describe themselves as “guardians” of their woodlands and they aim to improve habitats for wildlife - 60% have put up bird boxes.   When asked to describe high points in their time in their woodlands, 29 owners spontaneously used the word “peace” or “tranquility”.

This report, compiled from telephone interviews, is the largest recent survey of its kind and has contradicted the view, occasionally expressed, that small woodland owners are passive.  Many of them have been on courses which teach safe chainsaw use and many have been on wildlife management courses.

The survey also revealed how woodland ownership improves mental and physical wellbeing.  They gain significant emotional satisfaction from spending time in woodlands and their children were shown to be key beneficiaries of spending time in the woods. Owners described the impact of their woodlands on general family life and the pleasures they gain from cooking, eating and camping outdoors.  Those surveyed also appreciated getting physical exercise and the economic benefits of owning a woodland. Many of the activities such as building cabins, improving drainage and clearing tracks felt worthwhile and beneficial to general health.

Owners were keen to talk about their woods, with owners describing their woods as, “my green gym”, “my goto place” and “an escape from a busy life”.   One owner expressed his pleasure in “working in the woods as my retirement project” and “spending the night there and listening to the wind in the trees.”


Notes to Editors:

  • co.uk’s survey was carried out in late Spring 2016 among adult members of the Small Woodland Owners Group (SWOG), the majority of whom have purchased woods from Woodlands.co.uk since 2012.
  • co.uk is a family business set up twenty years ago. Since then, they have created and sold over 1,200 small woods all over Britain.  All the Woodlands.co.uk team are dedicated conservationists.
  • More information, photos and more details are available from Richard Scholfield on 07811 818 277 or [email protected]
  • The report is available at: https://www.woodlands.co.uk/what-do-owners-do-with-their-woods/