Steward Community Woodland – a sustainable workingwoodland and conservation project near Moretonhampstead.
Devon is one of the least forested areas in the UK. Many endangered species are associated with Devons traditional upland oak woodlands which now represent only a fraction of the remaining forested areas.This loss of natural habitat is mirrored throughout the world and the detrimental effects to climate, wildlife and human society are well documented.
Agenda 21 of the international Rio Declaration emphasises the urgent need for a move towards sustainable land use and development from the grass roots up. The Governments new Forestry Strategy encourages the creation of diverse working woodlands. Many local groups and individuals are taking action to combine sustainable livelihoods with environmental improvements.
An exciting new project, based near Moretonhampstead, is now being set up to demonstrate the value of integrating conservation woodland management techniques [such as coppicing and natural regeneration] with organic growing, traditional skills and crafts and low-impact sustainable living.
The project will benefit the environment while also providing an educational resource, local jobs, sustainable products and a place for quiet enjoyment and recreation.
By encouraging natural regeneration of broadleaved woodland and appropriate new planting, we will restore areas degraded by plantation conifers and invasive species.
By increasing opportunities for access, recreation, tourism, and education, we will promote greater understanding, involvement and enjoyment of the wood, its wildlife and management.
By using permaculture design principles, we will demonstrate environmental solutions and sustainable low impact development.
By establishing forest gardens, we will produce organic food, renewable fuels, medicinal herbs and other useful products.
By providing new habitats for wildlife we will restore a diverse and characteristic community of animals and plants.
By providing sustainable products for local needs, we will help the environment and the local rural economy.
We are keen to encourage local interest and involvement. If you would like to support Steward Community Woodland please send us your name and address and we will add you to our mailing list and let you know how you can help. Donations would of course be welcome.
Steward Community Woodland is managed by Affinity Woodland Workers Co-operative which was setup to encourage and enable environmental awareness and solutions by providing examples of sustainable land use.