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Looking for woods in the north west

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Looking for woods in the north west

Postby edhj69 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:07 pm

Hi,

new to the site and am looking for woods to use for recreation, ie just having a wonder, but also for nerf/live action role play events for kids and parties (not paintball). Initially to borrow/rent but eventually possibly buy or long term lease so any suitable patches in the north west please let me know.

Ed
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:04 am

While a great believer that kids need to play and explore for healthy development, we unfortunately live in a 'cotton wool safety' & litigious society, so I can foresee numerous insurance and logistic difficulties in letting kids play in a hired wood. They'll all need to be up to date with tetanus jabs. They'll have to be told about all the hazards like poisonous plants, ticks and fungi. Any potential dangerous hazards will be have to looked for and removed (which might include tree inspections and tree work to remove any diseased branches). Any ground level hazards like wire, bottles, broke branches, surface water, will need to be made safe. Brambles would be best cleared, they are trip hazards and can cause bad cuts. Bracken also has health risks- its a carcinogen and tick habitat. There needs to be CRC's for anyone involved, comprehensive and probably expensive insurance to cover all eventualities, a first aider,.....

You also have to consider the impact several screaming kids will have on the woodland wildlife and flora... between spring and autumn any nesting birds will be disturbed, if a protected wild bird nest or eggs are damaged or disturbed that can be an offence under the Countryside act. Trampling can compact the soil and destroy sensitive ecology and plants.

Sounds great from a kiddies point of view, but a logistic and legal minefield for the woodland owner. I'm not in the NorthWest but it would be a non-starter in my wood, it has many very old large and dead trees which often drop branches without warning, even in calm weather. The fallen branches also create many stake-like snapped Hazels which a running person could impale themselves on (as I did spectacularly when I was about 10), and it all changes by the day- so you'd need a thorough lengthy inspection prior to every single 'play session'. As an ancient wood (many SWOG woods are), its ecologically very sensitive. The only way to make it pretty safe would be take out all the trees, understorey, ground cover plants, and then level the site, in which case I think you'd have a rather uneven playing field !
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby Andy M » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:03 pm

oldclaypaws wrote:While a great believer that kids need to play and explore for healthy development, we unfortunately live in a 'cotton wool safety' & litigious society, so I can foresee numerous insurance and logistic difficulties in letting kids play in a hired wood. They'll all need to be up to date with tetanus jabs. They'll have to be told about all the hazards like poisonous plants, ticks and fungi. Any potential dangerous hazards will be have to looked for and removed (which might include tree inspections and tree work to remove any diseased branches). Any ground level hazards like wire, bottles, broke branches, surface water, will need to be made safe. Brambles would be best cleared, they are trip hazards and can cause bad cuts. Bracken also has health risks- its a carcinogen and tick habitat. There needs to be CRC's for anyone involved, comprehensive and probably expensive insurance to cover all eventualities, a first aider,.....

You also have to consider the impact several screaming kids will have on the woodland wildlife and flora... between spring and autumn any nesting birds will be disturbed, if a protected wild bird nest or eggs are damaged or disturbed that can be an offence under the Countryside act. Trampling can compact the soil and destroy sensitive ecology and plants.

Sounds great from a kiddies point of view, but a logistic and legal minefield for the woodland owner. I'm not in the NorthWest but it would be a non-starter in my wood, it has many very old large and dead trees which often drop branches without warning, even in calm weather. The fallen branches also create many stake-like snapped Hazels which a running person could impale themselves on (as I did spectacularly when I was about 10), and it all changes by the day- so you'd need a thorough lengthy inspection prior to every single 'play session'. As an ancient wood (many SWOG woods are), its ecologically very sensitive. The only way to make it pretty safe would be take out all the trees, understorey, ground cover plants, and then level the site, in which case I think you'd have a rather uneven playing field !


Yes, best keep them indoors in front of the TV
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:11 pm

I feel oldpaws cab be a bit over the top sometimes, as we have two woods no more than 500yds from ours that both cater for children, as young as 8yrs old, they are fully supervised as would be expected, and all the iffy trees are still standing, they both have large un fenced ponds

as for what your wanting to do with the woods, that is where I can see a problem, unless you can find a farmer who owns a wood that he has no time for, so a few £££££'s in his pocket is better than nothing, but what's to stop someone renting you a wood on a yearly contract, letting you build it up to a worthwhile buisness, then not renewing at end of year and continuing it themselves,
Im not saying they are all like that, but you never know
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:43 pm

I'm not personally a member of the safety mafia, as a kid I was allowed free reign, including taking out boats on my own, building tree houses, an air rifle, mopeds and mucking about with fires and power tools. We were even allowed to play conkers and throw snowballs at each other (currently banned by many schools).

Unfortunately, in the event something went wrong in your wood by chance with kiddy adventures, it could bankrupt you. Don't know the outcome but the article below shows just what can happen now. It was probably settled out of court.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13860112

I'm sure many of us have experience of falling trees or boughs causing damage to people or property, it happens, what goes up will come down at some time, its just chance if anyone is under it at the time......
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby edhj69 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:16 pm

For my sins I'm a personal injury lawyer(and have been for nearly 20 years), the kids already attend LARP and paint balling in the great outdoors and running about the woods while being cross bowed by an orc is a risk they're willing to take (or their parents on their behalf). obtaining insurance shouldn't be an issue as I know enough of the brokers from working for them as well.
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:52 pm

Have you experienced any woodland-related claims cases? We often discuss the necessity for public liability insurance, some of us think its unnecessary, others that its essential if you have footpaths in your woods or the public visiting. It would be informative to hear a viewpoint from someone inside the industry about the risks and liabilities involved in owning a wood and whether there have been many litigation cases involving woods.

'Cross bowed by an orc'- I've said woods can be hazardous places, buts that's another peril to add to the list ! I'd love to be able to put that one down on a form as 'cause of injury'. :lol: "The plaintive was negligent because he failed to wear the appropriate mithril shirt, despite prior knowledge of the likelihood of being shot at by Orcs". Love it.
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby edhj69 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:38 am

Yes I've been both sides of accidents on outward bound type courses, they are not straightforward from either side. I can put something together if you want a bit more detail. I think negligence in wearing the proper armour has never yet been pleaded in a case, but it's only a matter of time, the closest I've come was drafting a will that included leaving weapons and armour to various members of the client's family.
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby Dexter's Shed » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:47 am

edhj69 wrote:Yes I've been both sides of accidents on outward bound type courses, they are not straightforward from either side. I can put something together if you want a bit more detail. I think negligence in wearing the proper armour has never yet been pleaded in a case, but it's only a matter of time, the closest I've come was drafting a will that included leaving weapons and armour to various members of the client's family.


I would be more interested in trespassers making claims, regarding accidents
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Re: Looking for woods in the north west

Postby edhj69 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:04 pm

You have a duty of care even to the trespasser, it's not fair, but fairness never has much to do with the law. If you want specific advice I can pass you my details but in general (and very briefly) your duty is to warn trespassers of dangers you can reasonably expect them to come across "deep water" "electric fence", landmine? but we're off topic so I won't go on.
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