Blog: Woodland Management Planning; a day of forward thinking.

Posted on November 8, 2017 by

The Green Valleys CIC and Llais y Goedwig ran a training session for community group on development management plans for community greenspaces. 16 community group members from across South Wales braved the foul weather to gain a valuable overview of the management planning process including how to survey and describe your site, deciding on your objectives, developing actions, monitoring your work and then revising and reviewing the plan. In this blog post Llais y Goedwig director Roy Lynch gives an overview of the day: 

Woodland management planning event – a day of discussion and forward planning.

by Roy Lynch,Director Beaufort Community Woodlands


On a wet and blustery (some would say stormy) day in late October delegates from across South Wales arrived at Beaufort Community Woodlands to a warm cuppa, ready for a course entitled “Management planning for community greenspaces”  organised by Green Valleys CiC, sponsored by RENEW wales and supported by Llais y Goedwig.

As the host woodland we were delighted to see so many had braved the weather, with attendees from as far afield as Milford Haven, Llanelli, Swansea and Bassaleg ( Newport)  along with a number  local groups; Sirhowy Woodlands, Gilwern Community Woodland and Brynitel action group.

The day started with individual delegates introducing themselves and giving a brief overview of their own woodlands/projects, their future aspirations, difficulties encountered and concerns. There was a definite eagerness to listen to other delegates’ achievements and solutions to their problems.

Gareth Ellis from Green Valleys was the facilitator / trainer for the event and kept discussions and information flowing in an engaging, informative way around a series of presentations, followed by group workshops.

At the end of the morning session delegates had gained a clear idea of the importance of a Management Plan both as; a tool to guide management of the woodlands and an aid for the application for funding. In the group discussions delegates gained an understanding of how to develop management objectives and how these lead on to direct practical actions with an aim to achieve those objectives.

With any process there should be element of reflection. A Woodland Management Plan should also include a system for monitoring and review. Gareth suggested to delegates “A good management plan is one that is actively used within the woodlands, torn at the edges with scribbles and amendments all over it – not one that sits on the shelf”

He pointed out that all management plans for community greenspaces should be broken down into compartments – smaller distinct areas with their own actions. This was shown as work in practice when, following lunch, delegates braved the remnants of Storm Brian to visit our own woodlands to see the work carried on site – this highlighted how our management plan has been put into action in one particular compartment.

We all completed the day with a greater understanding of: The role of a management plan, how to gather information for its preparation, the development of objectives and defined actions and the need to monitor its progress.   This was supported with a promise from Gareth for any future assistance if we encounter any difficulties.


To download the presentations from the event, click Community Greenspaces Managment Planning OCT17.

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