Small Woodland Owners' Group

Forestry Commision - Helpful?

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Postby ncrawshaw » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:39 pm

We own some 13 acres of woodland comprising larch trees and chestnut coppice. The chestnut coppice is mostly over grown and the majority of the trunks are large enough to require a felling licence as are the larch trees. What experience have other SWOG members had with the Forestry Commision. With respect to felling licences and woodland management, do they tend to be helpful or unhelpful. Being self-employed I normally find government agencies and the civil service bureaucratic and unhelpful - is the Forestry Commision any different? Their publications are quite good but what are the people like?

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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:01 pm

Postby tracy » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:10 pm

So far we have had great experiences with the people of the FC. Officers will visit your woodland, chat about ideas and support you with paperwork. They are very busy, so if you can join your visit day with another local owner, that really helps. They want to see woods managed and will support that.

Just remember though, there is more than one way of managing a woodland - a comment I love:

'When you have 3 foresters in a room you will have 5 different opinions.'!!

You do not need to do as anyone says, collect loads of opinions and use these to inform yours.

Have fun!

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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:30 pm

Postby RichardKing » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:19 am

I have always found them extremely helpful.

They told me what would be the best things to do and this fitted in with other advice I had received.

The local FC officer also explained exactly what I needed to do when filling in the grant application.

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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:30 pm

Postby James M » Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:55 pm

"Being self-employed I normally find government agencies and the civil service bureaucratic and unhelpful "

Me too, and me too.

I must admit, I struggle with my chap. He isn't the best communicator in the world, and not the most enthusiatic person I've met. He's useful on the ground and has sent me some useful stuff, but forgets a lot of what I send him. He almost seems unhappy in the job (!) and CCF is a bit (well, a lot) of a mystery to him. Frustrating is a good word to describe it.

I attended (and paid for) a FC seminar a month back, it was not very well done and left me with not a great impression of them - but don't get me started on that. I almost put up a post here about it.

Like Tracy says, talk to everyone, choose the advice that suits you best. I'm now at that point - the 'leave me alone, I'm happy enough' point.

James M
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 4:57 pm

Postby docsquid » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:07 pm

We've had a lot of support from the Forestry Commission, and they have been helpful and enthusiastic but like you say, very, very busy. We had a visit today that was constructive and helpful to us, as we have only had our wood 2 years, so are still very much beginners.

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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:37 pm

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