The Mersey Forest's pioneering Wood Allotments project has been awarded a grant by the Ashden Trust to develop the programme following a successful pilot in Northwich Woodlands.
The funding will enable The Mersey Forest team to help roll out the concept across the Forest area. It will also be used to develop a handbook to guide landowners through the process of setting up a wood allotment.
The wood allotments concept allows local stove and fire owners to pay a small fee to harvest logs from their own row of trees in a young woodland. The scheme provides people with locally sourced renewable fuel, and also provides a valuable service by thinning the growing woodland to ensure its future health.
The first wood allotment in The Mersey Forest was at Carey Park, part of Northwich Woodlands, and was set up in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council rangers. The success of this pilot has led to another wood allotment being set up at Spud Wood, Lymm, Warrington. The experiences from both of these wood allotments informed the bidding process for the Ashden Trust funding, and has inspired other local authorities and landowners across the Forest area and beyond.
An event at Carey Park Wood is set to be held in December to showcase the wood allotment concept and wood fuel nationally.
To find out more about wood allotments, register your interest in a potential wood allotments site, or find out how to use your woodland as a wood allotment, visit www.woodallotments.co.uk