Common Ground are producing a series of short documentary films about woodlands, recording the variety of ways people work, celebrate and use woodlands in everyday life.
Starting with this film of Prime Coppice in west Dorset, where traditional coppice cycles are being reintroduced with the help of a community woodland group, these Woodland Portraits will reveal what sort of woodland culture exists today, why woods and trees matter to twenty-first century life, and how these landscapes might become part of parish, town and city cultural and economic life again. It will also explore the challenges and benefits of different Community Woodlands across the UK.
Dr Ruth Fuller and Kit Vaughan have owned the 21 hectare Prime Coppice, set in the heart of the Marshwood Vale, since 2011. They and a band of hardy ‘Working Woodlanders’ have been bringing about the sustainable management of this abandoned ancient woodland ever since. The ancient coppice system of the hazel understory has been restored by hand, the venerable oaks now take pride of place where once they were hidden and the woodland is a living classroom for people seeking a greater connection with the landscape.
Common Ground, in conjunction with the Dorset AONB, have captured the efforts of Kit, Ruth and the Working Woodlanders in this short film. We hope that their endeavours will inspire you to pick up a bowsaw and head out to your local community woodland; to give some much needed TLC and receive much more in return.