Hill Holt Wood is a woodland social enterprise in Lincolnshire which operates in the community to provide a wide range of different services, from education and training to 14-19 year olds, adult education courses in the woodland, countryside and forestry management to the provision of “green space” for those suffering from mental health issues. Their concept is simple: to work with the local community to create a better environment, provide employment and reach out to those in need. The woodland is open to the public every day.

Hill Holt Wood recently played host to representatives from the Lewes and Laughton community woodland. Very much in their early stages, the community group came together to help secure a 171 acre area of woodland in East Sussex for the community, which they have now done. They are interested in evolving the woodland into a social enterprise, so as part of our project with the Prince’s Countryside Fund we facilitated a visit to Hill Holt Wood.

The study visit was deemed by all to be a success, as it highlighted what can be achieved by a woodland social enterprise like Hill Holt, and provided the Lewes and Laughton group with advice and information about what to prioritise, lessons learned and ensuring commercial viability. Steve Donagain and Bradley Allsop from Hill Holt also provided information about raising awareness within the community, raising finance and legal structures.

If you’re exploring woodland social enterprise we’d love to hear from you. Take a look at our Making Local Woods Work project page for more information, or get in touch with us by emailing [email protected] or calling us on 01993 810730.