Woodland-related Social Enterprises

Woodland-related Social Enterprises

Forest Research


Over the last decade, interest in the potential contribution that social enterprises can make to society has been growing and this is evidenced in the increasing focus that is being given to them within public policy. At the same time, there has been an upsurge in attention on encouraging third-sector and civil society organisations to take on the management and/or ownership of physical assets such as land or property. Indications are that the growing importance of these agendas is likely to continue, as, for example, these ideas fit neatly into the ‘Big Society’ ethos of the UK coalition government.  


The forest administrations in England, Scotland and Wales are all committed to contributing to sustainable local and community development (social, environmental and economic) and helping to build community capacity and cohesion. They have recognised that supporting woodland-related social enterprises, with a particular emphasis on enterprises based around community management and/or ownership of woodland, could be one way to achieve this.


The support for woodland-related social enterprises within forest policy is relatively new. Practical application of related policy objectives is even more nascent, especially within England and Wales, and a thorough understanding of the value of woodland-related social enterprises and the best ways in which to support them has yet to be achieved. 


This study is a contribution towards improving this understanding and has been commissioned by the Forestry Commission in England, Scotland and Wales. Its focus is on examining the barriers and challenges facing different types and models of woodlandrelated social enterprise and investigating critical enabling factors.


To read the full report, visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/INFD-84JD86