Case Study: Woodland Craft Community

In this permaculture design, you can see the overall plan for a planned community in the UK. The goal is for a group of three households to come together to create a community based around woodland restoration, wood craft and the use and sale of non-timber forest products.

Part of the site is already densely wooded, and work will progress over time to add to the tree cover on the other portion of the site and to improve the biodiversity of the existing woodland. Alders, willows, birch, and oak are key species, and many more native British trees are to be included in the design, in areas of both wet and dry woodland on the site. Riparian ecosystem restoration along a stream through the site is a priority.

Much of the site will be left, or designed to be left, to mature into a natural woodland system. Other areas, at the heart of the scheme, will be more managed. A copping system will be implemented on several different time cycles. And there will also be areas managed as forest garden systems – with a focus on native fruits.

A portion of the property will be open to the general public, with a wooden adventure playground constructed by the artisans involved in the project. They will also be constructing the main woodcraft shop/ workshop and community space, a pergola and gazebo, and portions of three earth-sheltered homes with green roofs.

A zipline will also ultimately be installed for visitors to enjoy, descending from a ridge area towards the south of the site. Which visitors will be able to access by means of a boardwalk bridge over the stream and wetland area and through the woodlands. Information boards along this trail will educate visitors about the woods, and works undertaken on the site.

Outside the homes, there will also be a focus on food production, for the consumption of the community itself. While the primary income streams will come via the sale of hand-crafted wooden items, and other woodland resources.

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