The Whitelands Project is a officially a Community Interest Company, registered as of the 22nd March 2019! 

“A social enterprise looking to improve the habitat of Whitelands Wood, through collaborating with local small businesses…We provide a platform for craftsmen, educators, and traders, to sustainably utilise ecosystem resources. By doing this we hope to encourage a connection and deeper understanding of the woodland landscape, as well as ensuring future protection for the woodland. When you appreciate a place for its economic as well as its intrinsic value, the more you will work to protect it. “
So… What is a Community Interest Company?
A CIC is a limited company which is run for the benefit of the community, rather than for profit. Our social purpose takes the form of environmental restoration, as well as giving small businesses a hand in their sustainable development.

How will small businesses help improve woodland habitat?
Whitelands Wood was a conifer plantation, planted with ash and western red cedar in 1957. Since 2002, we have been gradually removing the non-native cedar trees and reverting areas of the site back to native broadleaf woodland. We can now enjoy a mosaic of habitats, from light and airy ash and beech to dark conifer, open downland glades and rides, to wild new plantation. With the onset of ash dieback, a severe threat to the ecosystem and the timber industry, we are having to rethink our plan for natural regeneration, and we can use all the help we can get to make our woodland thrive.

With the help of people like Frank Spooner and Tom Hartley, we can continue to remove non native cedar, and so supply our sustainable timber mill. Felling courses run by Arbsystem and Nik Woods Tree Services help us thin out the trees, and educational groups help us recruit volunteers for further maintenance work. Ranger Days and Club Morgan with Elsa Donovan help us spread our message to schools and families across the county. In this way, everyone helps make the wood work, and everyone reaps the rewards. 

Why should we combine forestry and education?
The woods are about more than just timber production, and they’re not just a haven for wildlife. Recent studies have continued to show that time spent outdoors boosts cognitive development, mental health, and physical fitness for people of all ages. Not only that, but those who experience nature at an early age are more likely to protect it later on in life. Teaching children to appreciate the environment and all that it provides equips them to help save it. Have you heard about our holiday clubs yet?