Responsibilities & Benefits of Community Woodland Ownership

Owning and managing land can bring great benefits and it comes with some attendant responsibilities.

Land, especially woodland, provides opportunities for many types of activities. From children’s educational events and activities, such as bug hunts and woodland skills to rural skills training for young and old.

Rural skills and the experience of working as part of a team can be valuable for young people, especially young people seeking work.  It is a way for those who have no college or academic qualifications to gain useful expertise and employment attributes; a sense of self worth and a confidence in themselves and their abilities. Organisations such as the Forestry Commission and Borders Forest Trust have recognised that woodlands provide an ideal environment for providing short training courses such as – woodland management, tree care, dry stone dyking, the use of powered tools (chainsaws and strimmers) and much, much more.

Land ownership is empowering for local groups and can bring local communities together in a common cause. Many community land buy outs in Scotland have brought communities closer together. Ownership safeguards cherished landscapes and recreational space, which otherwise may be threatened with development or dramatic change.