Archive for 2015

A Christmas tree for Stony Stratford | 08th Dec, 2015

Every Christmas Trafalgar Square receives a fir tree from the people of Norway. Market Square in Stony Stratford has a tree from a little closer to home, courtesy of SWOG member Andy Malleson who fells one from his small plantation at Gayhurst. Read more …

December 2015 Newsletter | 04th Dec, 2015

Dec cover

Wafted in on an unseasonably warm breeze, amid cries of ‘I don’t know where the year’s gone’, the December SWOG newsletter is a seasonal offering of peace and contemplation.

There is news of the 2016 RFS Excellence in Woodland Award, a new registration scheme initiated by the Surrey & Sussex Coppice Group to put owners in touch with woodland contractors and new forums for groups of owners on the SWOG forum. We have reviews of two excellent books, Lars Mytting’s Norwegian Wood and The Man who made things out of Trees by Rob Penn, as well as simple recipe for a simple Christmas day in the woods.

We hope you enjoy it!

Turbosawmill Demonstration Day | 28th Nov, 2015

Thanks to Matt Kenyan the new UK distributor of Turbosawmills for bringing to our attention the demonstration day he is putting on together with the Jake Peterson, the designer of the mill. Read more …

Survey – do you get a commercial return from your wood? | 16th Nov, 2015

IMAG0093Christine Meadows,  a Forestry and Woodland Management degree student at Plumpton College has contacted us with a request for woodland owners to fill in a short questionnaire.  Her particular interest is in how well  small woodland owners understand and feel able to address the opportunities for commercial return from their woodlands.

Read more …

November 2015 Newsletter | 02nd Nov, 2015

Nov2015 covWith the mists swirling around in November, prepare yourself for the mellow fruitfulness of the SWOG newsletter.

  • Resilient woodlands – preparing for an uncertain future
  • Thirty Years in Wilderness Wood – a review of Chris Yarrow’s fascinating story about his Sussex woodland
  • Trees on the telly – a round-up of recent broadcasts about woodlands, including one featuring SWOG members

Farm Business Innovations 2015 | 27th Oct, 2015

The Farm Business Innovation Show is for more than just the diversifying farmer, we have leading woodland and forestry experts speaking across the two days (11th & 12th November, NEC Birmingham) who can help you reach your financial, sustainability and rural business goals. This, combined with experts in areas including planning, funding and rural tourism, makes this the trade event to attend for anyone who owns or manages woodlands. Read more …

Free Woodland Restoration Workshop | 23rd Oct, 2015

Rigby woodWe are indebted to the Woodland Trust for inviting woodland owners to a free woodland restoration workship.  Please contact Jim Smith-Wright (details below) if you are interested in attending.

Friday 4th December in Laughton, East Sussex

11 am to 4pm

This will include sessions on woodland management, planning and grants available. The afternoon session will also include an opportunity to visit some local woods to look at restoration work underway there, weather permitting

Lunch will be provided. Further details to be confirmed.

Booking is essential: to register or for more details, please contact Jim Smith-Wright on 07768 506664 or email [email protected]

Free Consultancy for Foresters and Timber Processers | 14th Oct, 2015

Rigby woodThanks to Mathew Woodcock of the Forestry Commision for alerting us to this useful offer.

FACE – the Forest Advisory Consortium – are pleased to support Grown in Britain Week by offering all forestry and timber processing businesses operating in England a free 30 minute telephone consultancy from Monday 12th to Friday 16th October. This consultation can cover any aspect of business development, including raising finance, public sector funding, marketing, collaborative activity and innovation. FACE is a group of forestry sector organisations and individuals who have come together to provide support to forestry enterprises who are looking to grow their business, increase their use of British timber and contribution to the wider economy.

Further details of FACE and contact details for the regional partners are available at

October 2015 Newsletter | 02nd Oct, 2015

oct 2015coverA glorious autumn is well under way, but once you’re back inside, take a look at the latest newsletter.

Only 54 % of woodland owners and managers believe climate change will affect their woodlands – read more about the results of the 2015 British Woodland Resilience Survey, as well as a timely feature on foraging for food in the woods. There is also a link to video advice from the Forestry Commission about dealing with various tree diseases, and Rich’s account of a roundwood timber framing course.

September 2015 Newsletter | 03rd Sep, 2015

Sept coverThe September newsletter contains plenty of news, features and appeals to complete woodland surveys. The Forestry Commission and Sylva want to hear your views – so tell them!

Read about Freddie During’s tree-climbing course on the Isle of Wight.

How about a trip to the Harcourt Arboretum near Oxford, the oldest botanic garden in the country?

There are a number of woodfairs and other events on the horizon, including a SWOG meeting in Kiplin Wood, Yorkshire on 11 September – email Judith if you would like to join in.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the SWOG stand at the Bentley Woodfair in Sussex on 18, 19, and 20 September – we’d love to see you!

Making woodlands work survey | 06th Aug, 2015


England’s woods are a crucial part of the English countryside that provide a range of benefits to their owners and in doing so, enhance our wider landscape, ecology and economy. Woodland owners play an important role in helping to grow and expand woodland in Britain, while boosting their businesses and the forestry sector. The Forestry Commission wants to help those woodland owners and agents like you to make your woodlands work for your business through effective management. We want to give you the support you need to access woodland grants, create effective management plans and turn your woodland into a profitable asset.

Not only do well managed woods help to boost the bottom line, but they are critical in improving bio-diversity, tackling climate change and increasing public access to spaces for recreation and relaxation.

If you own a woodland that has a canopy cover of at least 20%, open space and felled areas that are awaiting restocking we’d appreciate it if you could assist us by completing this survey before 19 August 2015.

As a thank you for fully completing the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw, where one person will win a £100 Amazon voucher, so please make sure you include your contact details at the end. Your details will not be shared with any third party.

August 2015 Newsletter | 31st Jul, 2015

Aug15 coverThe latest SWOG newsletter is a sun-filled extravaganza of woodland entertainment.

First, our good friends at Bentley are offering an early-bird discount to the 20th anniversary woodfair on 18-20 September.

There are wonderful contributions from woodland owners: George Smith explains why he decided to buy a wood and describes the sheer fun it gives him and his family, while Andy Malleson describes how he created a hedge with help from family and friends.

The British Woodlands Survey will explore how woodland owners are working to adapt their woods for climate change: please take the survey which is hosted by the Sylva Foundation here.

Finally, John Clark explains how to purify water in the wild.

Artizans of Wood – Roundwood Timber Framing Course | 26th Jul, 2015

Earlier this month I attended the first roundwood timber framing course run by Artizans of Wood at the Dangstein Conservancy in Rogate. The course showed us how to construct a cruck or ‘A’ frame style building from round and somewhat irregular poles. Read more …

Made from Wood from the Wood | 26th Jul, 2015

I’ve been quite aware that a lot of my woodland craft products have been reaching a stage of functionality which will just about do, then pressure of time and other projects seem to move into my field of vision and take over. Read more …

SWOG Meeting, Catterick, 12 September | 20th Jul, 2015

SWOG Meeting, near Catterick 10am-1pm 12 September 2015

Following the popular meeting in Yorkshire in March, we can look forward to another on Saturday 12 September. Two SWOG families have kindly agreed to jointly host a meeting in their woods near Catterick in North Yorkshire. These two woods, which were once part of the Kiplin Hall estate, are slightly different. One has a mix of broadleaf and conifer and is geared towards amenity ownership; the other, with its mix of coppice with standards, is a valuable source of wood fuel. It promises to be a SWOG meeting full of interesting discussion. Ben Scotting of Rural Development Initiatives will be on hand to answer any questions and talk about (Planting on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWs) and Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) issues.

More details will be available nearer the time, but if you would like to attend, please email [email protected]

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