Buying a woodland for old style reasons

I have recently been thinking about buying a piece of woodland for old style reasons. I was wondering what other posters thoughts were and if anyone had done this?

I hope that by doing this I could future proof my family fuel wise, by managing the woodland.

It may also provide foraged foods if these plants were encouraged.

I would like to try and build a semi permanent shelter and camp there over the summer, living as simpy as possible.

These are just my initial thoughts. Wanted to throw it out there and see what came back.

Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.


  • doddsy
    doddsy Posts: 396 Forumite
    Would love to do this if only I could afford it! I would pollard willow and hazel, make baskets and provide firewood. It would also be a good place to keep a pig or two!

    I wonder what planning rules are like in your area? Would you need pp for a 'residence' even if it is temporary?

    This perfect piece of woodland would of course be mixed deciduous and have a good stream running through it!

    Good Luck!
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  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,766
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    Check carefully regarding the possibilities of living there - some of the Woodlands available for sale you can pretty much do no more than pitch a tent there, which would not be practical for the kind of longer stays you;re considering.
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  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I'd love to do this myself - I see the point re futureproofing (being a great fan of that concept) and the thought of having somewhere I could forage for food, get a breath of fresh air and having a bit of land I KNEW couldnt be developed (bar compulsory purchase "over my dead body") would be good. I do get very fed-up/worried at all the development going on in my area and it would be good to know I would have some chance of protecting one little bit and having it as a "refuge" would be good.

    In my area land/housing is so expensive that even the teensiest, scrapiest little bit of land alone is way over my price level unfortunately - so I just have to dream on and hope to goodness they dont develop much more of it.

    So if I personally had the chance then I would go for it - both for my own personal sake (as "refuge" territory) and because I would know at least one little bit of land was under good stewardship (ie mine) and being held safely "in trust" for future generations to retain some natural landscape.
  • hex2
    hex2 Posts: 4,736
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    There is a useful website here:

    Some good information although obviously they would like to sell you some woodland as well.

    We would love to do it but nothing seems to come up locally.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Mips
    Mips Posts: 19,796 Forumite
    It sounds like a nice idea Queen of String.

    I'm also on the Wirral - I live opposite the Woods and we love going in there, but having your own would be great :)
  • Lillibet_2
    Lillibet_2 Posts: 3,364
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I believe most of suitable plots that match your needs are called "nature reserves":p .

    But seriously, I am married to a countryside ranger & we have both read your post with interest. Unfortuantely, at least in the south of England, there are very very few plots available which would match your requirements, even less which would have the other necessities such as running water or acreage to provide privacy & those which are available run at +£40K (you haven't indicated your budget but this obviously wouldn't be cost effective) and come with a long list of restrictions, including a professional woodland management plan (usually only to be carried out professionally & on an on-going basis, this costs ££££ PA) . And speaking from my husbands experience of managing such sites, most councils are much more aware of your idea & will not grant any planning permissions on the woodland, including diverting or damming of waterways, building planning permission, installation of sewage facilities etc etc. At very best you might be able to get away with a Yurt or wood cabin with no power or piped water supply & a port-a-loo.

    Good luck if you decide to go ahed, I think it is a fab idea but sadly near impossible but don't let this deter you;)
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  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I had a follow-up thought on this - I am making the automatic presumption that the land would still be accessible to the general public for leisure/recreation purposes? I have automatically assumed that - as I would do that myself if I bought such a piece of land - so that no-one was deprived of recreational space. But I'm sure you would have already thought of that and it would still be available for other people to go for walks in etc (just not anything intrusive like destructive-type activities) - and its just me worrying unduly:D ;) (one gets so used to seeing the "other" type of thinking in this Society! lol)
  • I was presuming ceridwen, that anything usable would almost certainly contain a footpath or two, whihc you have to honour. I have been on that woodland site before they have some lovely stuff but very expensive. I was thinking a yurt or something like that and a compost toilet ( no chemicals). Everyone I have talked to about this ( friends and family), has said Ooh, can we come and do xxxxx. They all have ideas for using the space. I know it would be a major investment, but I am increasingly thinking that to have a space to retreat would be invaluable. I'm also studying NLP and Clean Language and the opportunity to run some of those types of things informally in a space like that would be magical. I think I might have to become member No1 in the saving up to buy a wood club :-D. thanks for all your thoughts.
    Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.
  • Plum_Pie
    Plum_Pie Posts: 1,285 Forumite
    I heard a programme on radio 4 earlier this year about people who want to live off the grid permanently and many of them said that the main hindrance was UK planning regulations!
  • My dad bought a piece of woodland years ago for hunting purposes. He never did use it though, however he stills owns it. Unfortunately it did come with all sorts of restrictions. He couldn't even get council permission to put in a small picnic area.
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