A community woodland is one controlled by the local community, through a Community Woodland Group (CWG). The woodland may be owned or leased by the group, or managed in a partnership between the group and another organisation.
Community woodlands can deliver both ecological restoration and rural development and were key to the work of Reforesting Scotland for many years. Reforesting Scotland helped create the conditions in which Community Woodland Groups flourished, and provided help, information and support for many individual CWGs.
Today, that support and cooperation is taken forward by the Community Woodlands Association. It was established in 2003 as the direct representative of Scotland's community woodland groups with the aim of helping community woodlands across the country achieve their aspirations and potential, by supporting, representing and promoting community woodlands, both in the corridors of power and 'on the ground'.
There are now over 200 woodland groups though not all are members of the Association.
During our work which focused on the development of community woodland groups, key activities included:
- Participatory Forest Appraisals
- An annual conference
- A telephone and e-mail advice service, information mailings, and an e-mail discussion forum
- The publication of a directory of community woodlands, and a Community Woodland Information Pack consisting of 20 information sheets
- Research and analysis
Community woodlands are an important new force for change in Scotland. Groups are setting up across the country, to realise new opportunities for local recreation, education and employment. This grassroots movement has already started to deliver government policy in areas including life-long learning, social inclusion and sustainable development. The potential is enormous, and the movement could grow to play a major role in delivering government aspirations for a more inclusive, sustainable society.
A Review of Community Woodlands in Scotland
Reforesting Scotland published a report in May 2003 which details the developments made in the Community Woodland movement over the last ten years, and outlines a vision for community woodlands in Scotland in the future and how this vision can be achieved. The report is divided into the following sections:
- A background to community woodlands
- A historical background - the decline of living and working on the land in Scotland, the problems of lack of forest cover, land ownership
- Recent developments - international developments (e.g. the Earth Summit in Rio, Participatory Appraisals), and developments in the UK and Scotland (government policies, initiatives, programmes and funding)
- The development of the Scottish Community Woodland movement, and key facts and figures
- Future directions - short-term developments, a vision of community woodlands in Scotland in ten years' time, specific actions required to achieve these goals
- References to articles, websites and case studies
- Case studies of three community woodlands
The report costs £5, including postage and packaging, whether you are in the United Kingdom or overseas. To order it, please send either a cheque payable to 'Reforesting Scotland', or a postal order, to the address shown at the bottom of this page. We regret that we are unable to accept credit or debit cards as a form of payment.