Celebrating Good Woods

good woods

Published Tuesday 1 April 2014

A pioneering project in the New Forest is helping owners and managers of woodland ensure their woods are healthy and profitable.

Good Woods is a ground-breaking project aiming to breathe new life into UK woodlands and is helping to reduce the high level of unmanaged private woodland in the New Forest, which currently stands at over 40 per cent. Woodland management is particularly important in the New Forest as its woods are a hugely diverse habitat for wildlife and contain the highest population of veteran trees in western Europe.

The scheme operates across the south and east of England and sees B&Q teaming up with sustainability charity BioRegional and forestry charity Sylva Foundation to revive woodlands to provide environmental, social and economic benefits. The project is administered by the New Forest Land Advice Service within the New Forest and surrounding areas.

To mark the end of the year-long Good Woods project in the New Forest which has seen eight woodlands receiving help, representatives from Sylva Foundation and B&Q met local people carrying out coppicing and general woodland management at one of the sites - Honeylake Wood, New Milton.  

Julia Griffin, B&Q Corporate Social Responsibility, said: ‘It was great to see Good Woods in action in Honeylake Woods and to see first-hand what a difference the project is making on the ground.

‘The ultimate aim of Good Woods is to invigorate the current generation’s appreciation of trees and woods and realise the potential that British woodlands can play in all of our lives, both now and in the future.’

Alistair Yeomans, Chief Operating Officer of Sylva Foundation, said: ‘This project aims to help revive woodlands with a view to improving the environmental, social and economic benefits that they provide. It was great to meet with members of the local woodland community who were carrying out coppicing and thinning operations at Honeylake Wood as part of this project.’

Georgianna Watson, New Forest Land Advice Service Advisor said: ‘Good Woods was a great project to be involved in, as all the woodland owners and managers that I spoke with were really keen to manage their woodlands more successfully. All participants were eager to learn about management skills that would allow their timber to become economically viable.

‘Better woodland management will directly benefit the New Forest in a number of ways, such as improved resilience to disease outbreaks and extreme weather, better habitats for wildlife  and increased local timber supply.’

The New Forest Land Advice Service is funded by the New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Verderers.

Anybody interested in receiving advice on how to manage woodland should email Georgianna.Watson@nflandadvice.org.uk.

For more information on Good Woods please visit: www.sylva.org.uk/myforest/goodwoods.


Notes to photo editor:

Left to right: Julia Griffin, B&Q Corporate Social Responsibility; Georgianna Watson, New Forest Land Advice Service Advisor; Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive; Alistair Yeomans, Sylva Foundation Chief Operating Officer.

Notes to editor:

About the New Forest Land Advice Service

The New Forest Land Advice Service is available to landowners and occupiers who would like advice and support on a wide range of issues relating to land management. The advisors operate across the National Park, the Avon Valley and the coastal plain. Since the service started in 2010 it has advised more than 300 businesses.

The service offers:

  • A free and independent service for the land managing community in and around the New Forest and Avon Valley
  • Support for landowners, farmers, New Forest Commoners, equine owners, graziers and community groups
  • Advice to anyone who owns or manages a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in the area
  • A small grant scheme which can support capital works which benefit the landscape, biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area.

To find out more about the New Forest Land Advice Service, or arrange a visit, please call 01590 646696 or email enquiries@nfladvice.org.uk.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646650

Email: matt.stroud@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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