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Shelter, sheds and storage – building anything in your woodland

You will enjoy spending days working and socialising in your woodland, but if you go frequently, you will soon find that there are some basic tools and bits of equipment that you would prefer to leave there. And with the British climate, there will inevitably be visits when you need to shelter from a rain storm, if only to eat your sandwiches.

In our recent survey of about 150 owners of small woodlands, we found that about half had installed some shelter or storage in their woodland.

Planning regulations are strict on this crowded island. The regulations allow the construction of buildings that are necessary for forestry purposes as “permitted development”. If you plan to do forestry work yourself in your woodland, you can reasonably claim to need some storage for equipment and shelter for yourself and those who are working with you. You will need to apply for this permitted development, which is not as large an issue as planning permission, nor as expensive. To guide you through the process we have published a downloadable leaflet all about sheds.

It is also possible to bring a mobile caravan into your woodland and use it for storage, and if you like for overnight stays. There is no need to apply for permission beforehand, but you may not be allowed by the local authority to leave it there permanently, and there is a regulation that you are not allowed to sleep there more than 28 nights in the year. If you are doing a lot of work, and need to stay more than that, you can get permission to do so as a “seasonal worker”.

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