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Baba

Advice on buying small woodland

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I am currently looking for a small woodland to buy in the south east of England where I intend to establish a forest garden and produce coppice products as well as manage for biodiversity. I'm not expecting it to be commercially viable, I just want to persue my interests while owning a peice of land which (hopefully) be a good long term investment.

 

Any small woodland owners out there have any advice on buying/managing e.g. things to look out for and check/unexpected costs etc. any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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sound good what you would like to do good luck with finding a wood ,If i was on the look out for a small wood to manage when buying one i would think is it near a main road could i have big costs in dealing with dangerous road side trees eg trafficmanagement and if it was would have a good look at the trees along it,hopefully the wood would have good tracks and access for a lorry to pick up wood.

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Hi Baba,

Why not amble over to swog.org.uk, where lots of us small woodland owners hang out, and ask there? When I got my wood, I fancied the forest garden, but have decided against it, because you have to visit more frequently than was practical for me, and it means introducing many non-native species into a wood. There are owners who have done it though. But regardless of that, I've got more than I expected from my wood.

Like Ben says, you will have responsibility for boundaries, but this isn't usually a big deal - generally just a question of checking for dead branches periodically. And there are various grants available to help with things like improving access. Anyway, hope to see you over at swog.

Good luck with your search.

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What do you mean by a small woodland? And what would constitute a good investment? Small amenity lots are still fetching daft money almost wholly unrelated to intrinsic value or possible revenue streams, so you'll be taking a punt on this state of affairs continuing.

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I would say the only way will be if you maybe find a farmer, who has a small woodland that he/she would be willing to sell. I was lucky with mine and dropped on a block less than a mile from my house.

 

Everything has a price, have a look around locally and see if there is possibly something that you like the look of close to home, then approach the land owner (although you will have to give reassurances about usage etc).

 

There are several companies that specialise in woodland sales, some of these that target the lifestyle buyers have the woods advertised at a greatly inflated price. Have a look at site like John Cleggs. Also its worth contacting your local agricultural land agents/auctioneers as they may know of something or be able to lot a woodland seperatly in a land sale for you.

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Best of luck in your search. You will probably need it in the southeast.:001_smile:

 

The people in that area who might have some spare land and be in need of ready cash are the local and/or county councils. With pressure on budgets due to cuts, etc being what they are.

 

I am afraid that you will need to consider anything, including bare land that you may have to plant yourself and land outside of the southeast.

 

As to investment potential, it is always wise to manage any property to appeal to as wide a market as possible. So consider maintaining grassland, wetland, etc as well as woodland. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the types of things people want to do with land.

 

I agree that prices appear high if you are a prospective buyer, but, once an owner you will see things differently and be glad that the British love affair with the countryside will always outstrip the manufacture of new land.

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Thanks for the advice guys, I've made an offer on 4 1/2 acres of chestnut coppice in Kent, its gonna work out at about 7,500 an acre which seems to be the going rate for small acreage in the south-east. Hoping to make some changes which'll enhance the amenity value and when europe goes into global financial meltdown land will be the only thing worth anything so best to get some I reckon.

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Congratulations Baba. Without any details of your site that seems a very reasonable price, especially given the demand for chestnut coppice.

 

I am sure that you can look forward to years of endless back-breaking work in all weathers.

:thumbup1:

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that seems alot of money, if you look at land/woodland/pasture costs they will come with averages on news/websites etc.

 

there is dramatic difference in costs per acre across the uk/europe - for the 30k you are looking at you could get 20acres.

 

thats a bit of guess, most pasture around me is £3000 to £4000 and acre, woodland 1/2 that.

 

i am selling my house and want to by in france, so if was you i would buy as much land as possible - regardless of where it is - as long as there is a river :thumbup: or at least a stream:biggrin:

 

We paid £53k for 21 acres in North Wales 4 years ago (leasehold with 900+years on it). I have been offered the lease for about £10k but the wood will then be worth in excess of £100K, according to the price others are selling for in same area!

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