As a scoping study, the objective of the research was to ascertain what information existed and where the information could be found. We focussed specifically on what information existed on local authority woodlands, the level of community management of woodlands, and the extent to which social enterprises were operating from local authority woodlands.
We found that many local authorities are willing to consider community and social enterprise management of their woodlands, but that few have formal agreements in place. A number of factors restricted the development of community or social enterprise partnerships in woodland management, with lack of time and money high up the list. But a real barrier for some authorities is the lack of information on their woodlands, which leads to a reactive approach to management – or no management at all.
The result of our work was a report entitled “Community Management of Local Authority Woodlands”. The report was formally published in December 2013, and can be accessed below.
“Shared Assets did far better than I could have hoped for in the time available - the report is excellent” - Anna Lawrence, Forest Research
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This report was commissioned by Forest Research, and reviews the data available on the management of woodlands by local authorities in England. The report focuses on the extent to which community groups and social enterprises are involved in their management. [Read the full report here]