Linslade Woods


Linslade woods are my local woods, located just five minutes away from my front door.  Most woods in Britain are either owned privately or owned by the Forestry Commission, which is funded by the government.  There was a bill going through Parliament to sell off the woods owned by the Forestry Commission, but thankfully pressure groups managed to get the government to do a u-turn.

Linslade woods are very unusual in that they are owned and administered by a charity.  In the 70’s the landowner of Linslade woods died and his son inherited the woods.  The son was going to sell them off for housing, whereupon some local people banded together to stop this, and as a result the woods are now owned by a charity.

There are two parts to the wood.  The old part, which the son was trying to sell off, is bluebell woods and it feels unfriendly to humans, which is no surprise.  The new part consists of fields bought and planted in the 70’s and are very friendly to humans, because there are rides which horses use and people toboggan down in winter.  Also dog walkers use the new part of the forest, so it gets a lot of contact with humans, whereas the old part doesn’t get much contact with humans.

I am a member of Linslade woods.  It costs £5 for membership, £3 if someone in your family is a member and £2 for unwaged people.  I get invited to Action Days and events that are on.

The last action day was two weekends ago.  I learnt the old art of coppicing hazel and the not-so old art of weaving the hazel into baskets to go around the coppiced stools so the muntjac deer, which are an invasive species won’t eat the new shoots.

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3 Comments

  1. Jae said,

    April 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I am so glad to hear of woods such as these. Here in Kentucky, we have been trying to save woods and farms and now, save second growth woods. There is a lovely place owned by a private trust, Bernhiem Forest in Bullit County which was totally razed woods at the turn of the 20th Century. It was bought up a very rich man and given back to the state in 1950 and is just beautiful. I too have noticed areas that seem brooding and dark and hostile but there is so much bloody history there due to the War Between the States and on back nevermind the iron ore and smuggling of the late 19th century.

    We have to fight hard to save land. As my grandfather said, “They just don’t make any more land anymore!” It broke my heart when our family’s farms were sold (we were all too young to save them) by our uncles twenty years ago. Now, we have no “home” as they all did for so many generations and it’s all built up with McMansions and TacoBells that no one wanted or needed.

    Take care,
    Jae

  2. April 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I love that your local woods are owned by a charity. I wish it was more common! I’m lucky to live where I do. It’s mostly all housing co-ops and all the land is privately owned by them and left wild and untouched. The areas of land in between are protected by the government and it’s illegal to cut any trees or shrubs down without legal permission (which an American gas company did a few years ago when they clear cut a gas line and they were forced to replant it all). Despite it being protected there’s still a lot of work to be done to protect the woods from the residents who toss garbage and invasive species like blackberry, english ivy, and archangel into the bush when they don’t want them as house plants anymore. Now they’re everywhere!

    • April 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Yeah, ivy’s a right b****r to cut down, not surprised it’s an invasive species in Canada. We’ve got himalayan balsam as an invasive species – very pretty, but takes over like mad. Fortunately it’s easy to get rid of – unlike ivy!


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