Somewhere on the sliding scale from dark green ancient semi-natural woodland to bright grey urban town centres, the community woodland is more than an attractive fringe greenspace abridging town and country.
Community woodlands deliver an array of social, economic and environmental benefits when appropriately located, designed and maintained. Improving neighbourhood appeal and community liveability, community woodlands also provide a place for recreation and a place for wildlife. Design is all-important – the right (native) tree in the right place, open sweeping pathways with good visibility ahead, and a mix of grassland, wildflower meadow and stands of trees, community woodlands offer a little something to everyone.
A number of organisations have been involved with developing and managing community woodlands, often as part of regeneration programmes to improve the quality of life in deprived areas, Successful sites have been found to involve the community in all stages of the planning and management process, to provide greenspace for social interaction and community cohesion and provide an area of which the community are proud.
The Forestry Commission has been involved in developing and managing a number of community woodlands, including:
- Thames Chase community woodland
- Bentley community woodland
- Kiveton community woodland
- Hill Holt Wood
- Brodsworth community woodland
- Dinnington community woodland
- St Helen’s
- The Western Isles community woodlands
- Salford and Bury
- Bold Colliery community woodland (PDF-112K)
A number of other organisations are also involved in community woodland management, including:
- The Community Woodland Network set up by the Woodland Trust
- The Community Woodlands Association (Scotland).
Further information is available from Governance of community forests and woodlands in Great Britain.