Common Ground is researching an Handbook for Trees, Woods and People as a new practical and inspirational guide to help communities care for and plant woodlands and trees in their own localities.
It will inspire and support people to engage with their local trees and woods, to value and celebrate them. The book will look at starting community woodlands, woodland history, 21st century woodland culture, choosing and planting trees and different management activities. The Handbook will also show what we can do together, in our gardens, streets and hedgerows, in our schools, workplaces and hospitals, in urban as well as the broader farmed landscape. We shall examine how and why we might form community groups, the changing role of collective engagement and how to take effective action in the public domain. The book is aimed at people with enthusiasm but not necessarily knowledge. It will be full of examples and offer practical advice about trees as well as philosophy, environmental arguments, information on nature and culture, with ideas for action and celebration. Our relationship with woods and trees will be amply illustrated with living examples, showing how people and woods can thrive together.
With a new foreword by Richard Mabey, the book will build upon Common Ground’s 1989 publication In a Nutshell and will form a companion volume to the successful Community Orchards Handbook, now in its second edition. Common Ground have asked Robin Walter (a respected Dorset forester) and Neil Sinden (former Policy Director of CPRE and writer of In a Nutshell) to do much of the research and writing, with additional editing by Adrian Cooper. The work will be done in 2017, with proposed publishing date in 2018 . The Handbook will be indispensable for local authorities, especially parish councils, environmental activists, gardening groups, schools, first footers into DIY environmentalism, Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, Transition Town initiatives, and the half-million people who recently raised their voices in concern for their local Forestry Commission woods.
Please get in touch if you are involved in a community woodland. We’d like to gather lots of different woodland stories and build a map of community woodlands around the UK. Here are some of stories about trees and woods that our research has collected so far:
An NHS forest
A new community woodland
A new generation of woodland workers
Rediscovering woodland heritage
Two community woodlands
Community rangers care for special places
A nature retreat
A new community woodland
Community forests harvesting & art
Nature in the inner city
Trees stand for nature
Community wood allotment
Sowing the seeds of social change
A shared sense of place
Rediscovering landscape identity