Cheshire Wood Allotments
Wood Allotments is a scheme developed by the Mersey Forest to enable woodland owners to engage local communities and manage their woods by allowing people to cut down selected trees for firewood in a woodland that is in need of thinning. It’s a great way to involve local people in the management of woodlands, provides locally sourced sustainable logs and benefits woodland flora and fauna by letting more light in. The Woodland Trust has had a wood allotment group working under a licence agreement at Spud Wood, Lymm in Cheshire for nearly 5 years helping to manage this young woodland by carrying out thinning work.
The Trust has been working in partnership with the Mersey Forest as part of the Community Woods Project pilot in the North region to develop further wood allotment groups for our woods in Cheshire and a new Wood Allotment group started this January at Thorn Wood near Weaverham. The group was set up with support from the Mersey Forest who established a Community Interest Company which has signed a licence agreement with the Woodland Trust for Wood Allotments at Thorn Wood. In future years this agreement could expand to include other nearby Trust owned woods. There are already 30 members in the group who each pay a small annual membership fee to cover insurance, training and running costs of the group and in return they can cut down selected marked trees and take the logs for firewood. This helps with much needed thinning work as part of the woodland management plan for the site.
The new Cheshire Wood Allotments group have their own website https://cheshirewoodallotments.merseyforest.org.uk/
The Mersey Forest has created an online hub: woodallotments.com where potential “allotmenteers” can browse existing wood allotments and contact the landowner, or suggest where they would like to see new wood allotments, helping to build up a map of demand.
For more information about the Wood Allotment groups at Thorn Wood or Spud Wood contact Neil Oxley, Cheshire and Merseyside Site Manager
Thanks to Rachael Cranch, Community Woods Project Manager for her support with this project.
Paul Bunton – Events & Communications Officer, North