Recently, woodlands.co.uk asked me some questions about ‘buying a woodland’. So here goes :
How did you find your woodland?
As a local, I found the woodland by walking with my partner and our dog. My partner’s family lived in the village for a number of years.
Were there surprises you found in the first few weeks of owning your wood?
The biggest surprise for me in the early weeks was the expansiveness of my woodland, every time I would visit I would find something different. This could be a different tree species,a path or a bird.
Did you set up a campsite and how did that go?
One of my goals was to camp at least once a month, starting with my first month of ownership in January! Camping has given me the opportunity to spend more time in the woods, not just mornings / afternoons and appreciate the peace and quietness.
How have you managed the woodland?
Management so far has been cutting overstood hazel coupes for regeneration and collecting good firewood for home. Rotten or poor-quality wood has been collected and stacked for wildlife habitats, especially oak! The hazel rods have been for craft activities ,with the brush piles being left for insects.
What are your future plans for the woodland?
Future plan for the woodland is to introduce different native species of tree. I have around 20 saplings I have potted on at home, that will eventually be moved into the wood. With the regeneration of hazel, the crop I intend to use to create deadwood hedges for protecting young trees from deer.
How have various members of the family got involved in the woodland?
All of my family have visited the woods and helped in some way. Whether it be firewood, coppicing or bringing food to have with a hot drink!
What practical projects have you done or planned for your woodland? How did you do these?
My partner and I both enjoy wood craft such as pyrography and woodturning. A lot of oak limbs that have come down during storms have been used to make presents for friends and family, and decorations for our home.
What advice would you give to someone buying a small woodland?
My best bit of advice would be to wait for the woodland that has what you want. Woodlands come in all shapes and sizes; and getting the right patch can make your experience a lot more enjoyable.
In terms of flora, what have you learnt in the woodland?
I have learnt that woodlands like mine (broadleaf) provides a home for hundreds of plants, flowers and insects. The humid conditions in oak woodlands provides ideal conditions for rare / hard to find flowers such as orchids and so many types of fungi and lichens.