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[EXP] Small woodland keepers in the UK

Difficulties and opportunities of a community-led organisation promoting coppicing, traditional woodcrafts and local woodland products

Rural topic(s): Sustainable forestry

Type: Success story

Date of writing: May 2, 2016

Author(s) of this page: Paddy Cox

Organization(s): Small Woods Association


Small Wodds Association operates as community-led organisation promoting coppicing, traditional woodcrafts and local woodland products.


Description of activities

Woodland management: Sustainable forestry management for biodiversity and productive uses.

Woodland products: Roundwood structures and shelters, greenwood shakes and furniture, charcoal and fencing.

Woodland economy: A large element of our operating model includes training courses in traditional woodland skills, outdoor learning and recreation in woods.


Challenges: include the unsustainable woodland being seen solely as financial “investments” that increasingly excludes communities from access, or from contributing towards, supporting, appreciating or understanding the role of woodlands in the wider environment. Consequent outcomes frequently include local hostility to any active management of local woods, “nimbyism” and the lack of understanding of community roles in sustainable development generally.

Next steps: We shall continue to include local communities in a range of woodland activities and events, building support for and understanding of the important role that small local woodlands can and should make in creating more sustainable communities.


Presentation given during the Market of initiatives during the 1st workshop on Sustainable Forest Management (17-20 March 2016)


Keepers of small woods:

Contact: Paddy Cox

E-mail: paddycox8(a)gmail.com



Scale of intervention : Local

Keywords: woodland products, locally-based economy, woodland management, wood processing, sustainable woodland, coppicing, crafts, rural heritage, local community initiative

Places: United-Kingdom

Actors: private sector, community organization, forest owner

Methods: training/capacity-building, community-led initiative, outdoor learning