Managing and Using Woodland

An ever-increasing number of people are buying woodlands for recreational and developmental purposes. Reports show that an estimated 500 small-scale wood lots change hands in the United Kingdom every year. These figures are considerable when compared to a couple of decades ago. The domain was a preserve of established game-shooting syndicates, farmers and landowners.

Private ownership of woodlands in the United Kingdom is undoubtedly among the highest in Europe. The proportion of private ownership stands at 82 percent. This is in sharp contrast to averages in Europe, which stand at 49.6 percent. Many UK owners use the plots to develop recreational facilities. They hire contractors to handle the jobs. Some of the work includes erecting sporting features, which require specialists to design pitch. Choosing a specialist is almost always preferable as they do the job right the first time.

More information on design pitch

Many woodland properties are owned by people who inherited large estates. However, some wealthy individuals are investing in the larger properties. They then split and sell the plots as smaller units.

Development opportunities

Active management of woodlands provides a number of key benefits, including social, environmental and economic. These spinoffs are particularly evident at the two opposite ends of the woodland management spectrum. However, recreational or social benefits may require some input from the owners in the form of development projects, such as path construction, fencing and drainage.

Professionally-constructed play or sporting structures that are strategically set in the forest can transform any setting. Artificial features can complement natural play sites like trees, mounds, sand surfaces, logs, dips, boulders and bushes. These sites are ideal for both adults ad children to play and have fun outdoors. Exposure to natural settings enables them to value forests.

Well-designed, high-quality welcoming facilities form part of the infrastructure required to create a fully-fledged recreational or tourism estate. The facilities help people prepare for an exhilarating experience in robust locations that are designed for adrenaline sports and physical activity. Waymarked paths provide an ideal space for visitors to hike and cycle.

Sustainable management contributes immensely to the success of multi-functional forests. The design of the entire property can support a wide variety of development opportunities, including tourism, recreation and local access.

Some of the key recreational activities that create business opportunities include

- Dog walking

- Forest cycling

- Mountain hiking

- Festivals

- Horse-riding and trekking

- Motorised land sports, such as four-wheel driving, quad biking like and car rallying

- Mountain activities, including rock climbing, mountaineering, caving and abseiling

- Watersports

- Other land-based activities like archery, rope courses, dog-sled racing, skiing and more

Making the most of forest resources

Woodland owners can leverage nature's wonders to create new, viable business opportunities. For instance, offering adrenaline activities, which allow visitors to climb rope ladders straight up the treetops. This type of recreational activity provides a practical way for visitors to experience the thrills of moving from one tree to another. They enjoy refreshing views from vantage points that are several metres above the ground.

The installation of a series of wooden bridges and rope ladders can be carried out easily with the help of experienced contractors. It is also possible to include stirrup crossings, Tarzan swings, zip wires and trapezes.

Overall, there is need for versatility to cater for the wide-ranging needs of communities and visitors. Experts recommend creating a balance between built infrastructure and low-key access to woodlands and greenspace. Built infrastructure should serve vital recreational needs to ensure sustainable development.

For this reason, it is important to set a baseline standard across the estate (design pitch). Facilities like mountain biking uplift and car parking can be sources of revenue. Many other woodlands make a reasonable charge for public usage.