What Can Community Woodlands Provide For You
What is a community woodland?
A community woodland is one partly or completely controlled by the local community, through a Community Woodland Group. The woodland may be owned or leased by the group, or managed in partnership with another organisation, such as Forestry Commission Scotland. (Community Woodlands Association)
According to the Community Woodland Association, Scotland’s community woodlands deliver a huge range of public benefits, including:
- Recreation - providing wide-ranging opportunities for outdoor recreation, from informal paths and ’all ability’ facilities to mountain bike trails and orienteering courses;
- Biodiversity & Conservation - restoring and expanding native woodlands, and carrying out habitat improvements within other forest types, to conserve and enhance Scotland’s biodiversity and contribute to climate change mitigation;
- Economic development - increasing the value of forestry to local communities, creating jobs and developing local processing and markets for timber and non-timber forest products;
- Renewable energy - developing local supply chains and markets for woodfuel, to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and support sustainable forest management;
- Social inclusion - involving all sections of the community in planning and decision-making, and ensuring that the benefits of community woodlands are available to all.
Reference: Independent Panel on Forestry, Final Report www.defra.gov.uk/forestry panel