Access, tracks and boundaries
Understanding the practicalities of owning your woodland is important, and our approach is one of common sense and cooperation. We can introduce you to the other owners of nearby woodlands, so you can easily discuss areas of common interest.
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 usually be a locked gate, for which all owners will have keys or the combination. 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.
Shared tracks are usually owned by us, but the responsibility for their upkeep is with the users, who have undertaken to contribute “according to usage”.
Repairs to the track may be undertaken by owners themselves, with a working party, or they may involve hiring machinery and a driver and possibly materials like crushed stone. In our experience major repairs are not often needed if owners have been sensible in the way they use the track, particularly in wet conditions, and small potholes are filled in if they start to form.
It is also important to make sure that surface water can flow freely along ditches and through culverts - these are pipes that carry water from one side of the track to the other.
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 done to the track.
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.
The boundaries of your woodland will normally coincide with natural boundaries like ditches, banks, tracks or walls.
After buying, you might naturally consider fencing some or all of your woodland — maybe to try and make it more private— but we generally advise against this. The natural world and animals in particular don’t understand fences! We certainly recommend not putting up stock-proof fencing so that wildlife can roam freely.
From our many years of experience, we don’t see a lot of trespassing in woodlands and people tend to be respectful and stick to footpaths.