Wood from woods!!!

Foods for free. Anything you want to post about wild foods or foraging, hunting and fishing. Please note, this section includes pictures of hunting.

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matowakan
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Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219046 matowakan
Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:56 pm

Not sure if this is he right area for this question but does anyone know the rules or laws for picking up wood,branches etc from areas where there are trees??
Am I right in thinking if it is on the ground it is ok to take it home but only if on common ground?

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219097 okra
Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:04 pm

I think you are right about the common ground wood otherwise you need permission from the owner (how ridiculous)

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219122 old tree man
Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:26 am

Yes thats true if you are gathering and not cutting, but working in the woods is allowed only by the wood owner and these days you have to have 5 millions pounds liability insurance :shock:
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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219198 red
Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:25 pm

okra wrote:I think you are right about the common ground wood otherwise you need permission from the owner (how ridiculous)

i expect you would feel differently if the woods were yours
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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219206 Zech
Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:35 pm

A google search brought me right back here!

viewtopic.php?t=3378

The Forestry Commission websites have quite a lot of information, though note that their policy varies from one area to another. I'm disappointed to learn that they're stopping the permit scheme for scavenging in Wales, though I appreciate their reasoning, to support local people trying to make a living out of supplying wood for fuel.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219259 poptrem
Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:07 pm

Evening all!

This is my first post here, so apologies for no introducing myself in t'other thread, but I had to jump in here as I am a forester by trade. My take on this would be:

#1. If it is a private woodland, then the owner has all the rights to the timber, even if it is lying on the ground. The situation is no different to entering a neighbour's property and taking their windfall apples. You simply have no right to do this.

#2. But , on the other hand, most private woodland owners are people too, and if you contacted them and asked nicely, 9 times out of 10 (okay , maybe 5 times out of 10) they would probably be all too happy to let you gather sticks, as long as you don't fell anything. Most of them really appreciate the woodlands that they own and would be chuffed to know that you did so as well. Makes them feel like they are giving something back.

#3. State owned woodlands (i.e. the Forestry Commission) would also be cool about it, provided that you did not go in with a chainsaw and cut anything. There is often a lot of timber and other residues lying on the forest floor after a clearfell and you could get quite a lot of firewood out of this, although it would be hard work getting it to roadside. You would, however, have to approach your local Forest Enterprise office (the on-site management division of the FC) and ask for a scavenger's licence. There may or may not be a small charge for this and you may or may not be allowed to use a chainsaw. If you did (want to use a chainsaw) you would almost certainly need to provide evidence of public liability insurance.

Why not check the Ordnance Survey map to see if the wood appears as a Forestry Commission wood? If it does, simply go to their website (they have one for each country of the UK) and look up the nearest office to you. If it is a privately owned woodland, then I suggest knocking on some doors close to the woodland. You will probably find the owner living nearby. If he/she doesn't, then I am sure that any people whose houses back on to the woodland will know and be able to help in providing you with an address. If they cannot, try the local FC office to see whether they have any information or start phoning around the local forest management companies that are listed in the Yellow Pages (or online, etc).

Eventually, you will find the right contact details.

Personally, I would recommend the civilised approach everytime as woodland owners can get quite upset with this sort of behaviour going on without their permission. In many cases, they have to put up with fly tipping, unlawful motorcycle access, unlawful fires, unlawful raves (etc) and they could quite easily classify you as another one of those troublemakers if you don't introduce yourself first.

Just my advice! Good luck and send me a PM if you want me to try and find out on your behalf.

I live in the Highlands of Scotland, so do not have any good contacts in most other places, although I would know of a few good places to check and people to ask.

All the best,

Tim/.

Edited: to improve my grammar!
Last edited by poptrem on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219270 okra
Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:46 pm

red wrote:
okra wrote:I think you are right about the common ground wood otherwise you need permission from the owner (how ridiculous)

i expect you would feel differently if the woods were yours


I suppose I would be upset if it was my wood but in reality 0.6 per cent of the British people own 69 per cent of the land on which we live - and they are mostly the same families who owned it in the 19th century. The tiny aristrcratic elite still own the majority of the land and taking home some dead sticks is theft.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219277 MKG
Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:17 am

Good discussion!!!!

Personally, I'd be livid if I was the owner of the wood and was confronted by someone nicking my property (especially considering that I would have given permission for a limited amount of gathering IF ASKED.

But I would have made a stipulation (which, here, is a bit of an appeal). I would have insisted that some of the fallen wood was left where it was. Dead wood is a very important habitat for a lot of our wildlife. And I mean VERY important. Whatever you're doing, please, please, leave some lying around.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219320 Millymollymandy
Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:52 am

Thank you Mike - that is EXACTLY what I was going to say! A proper ecosystem always includes fallen, rotting wood and how do you know how the owner wishes to manage his/her land? I have a mini woodland and leave piles of rotting logs there on purpose. Nobody can get on my land but imagine how I would feel if someone took those logs away? :angryfire: I am hearing about people having their firewood stolen in Brittany too including wood that has just been felled but hasn't yet been picked up. Because it is lying there in a field doesn't mean any old person can come along and take it away. It is theft pure and simple. :roll: So ask permission! And welcome Poptrem! :wave:
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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219449 poptrem
Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:56 pm

thanks!

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219467 Nomada
Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:18 pm

MKG wrote:Good discussion!!!!

Dead wood is a very important habitat for a lot of our wildlife. And I mean VERY important. Whatever you're doing, please, please, leave some lying around.

Mike


Isn't there a statistic that says something like over 90% of the life in woodland is to be found in dead wood. Good point.

I've got to admit though, how much do people reckon it differs from foraging in woods, hedgerows etc that don't belong to us? How many of us honestly get permission for everything? :shock:
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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219470 John Cossham
Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:44 pm

This is one of my dilemmas, the dead wood for biodiversity versus wood for my stoves one.
Another thing which bugs me is when trees are being felled and good big branches are being fed through a fossil-fuel-guzzling shredder... branches which I'd be happy to trim, cut, split and stack.
I'm about to approach my local authority to see if there's any policy which can be put into place to allow woodburners access to this material. No idea how it would work, but gotta start somewhere.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219600 Thomzo
Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:33 pm

Good discussion and thanks, Tim, for that very clear explanation. Welcome to Ish.

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219617 poptrem
Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:51 pm

Thomzo wrote:Good discussion and thanks, Tim, for that very clear explanation. Welcome to Ish.

Zoe


Thanks for that.

At the risk of hijacking the original poster's thread, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of retaining deadwood. This practice is recognised and promoted by the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC (http://www.fsc.org/), which is the organisation that is charged with sponsoring the sustainable management of woodlands throughout the world. In the UK, woodland owners who wish to be able to sell their timber as coming from a sustainable source - which will improve the chance of being able to sell their wood come harvest time (and maybe, just maybe, get an extra premium on the price) - abide by the UK Woodland Assurance Standard, or UKWAS as it is more commonly known.

UKWAS is an interesting read for anybody with an interest in woodland management as it deals with things that are very likely dear to the hearts of many Ish members: a restriction in the use of chemicals in forestry; retaining or creating a woodland canopy that contains a variety of different ages; a minimum proportion of open ground to promote biodiversity and species of woodland margins; the promotion of native tree species; and the provision of facilities to promote public access and enjoyment of the woodland space.

All worthy things, of course.

You can download the standard here: http://www.ukwas.org.uk/standard/backgr ... index.html

Anyway, I digress too much and fear to bore! What I am saying here is that UKWAS promotes deadwood as well and a lot of private woodlands these days (and all of the Forestry Commission's state forests) are signed-up and try their best to deliver the Standard's rather demanding requirements. It doesn't always work, and almost never to 100% of what is required - but it is definately, incontravertibly, if somewhat expensively (for the woodland owner), a GOOD THING.

Up here in the Highlands, Aspen (Populus tremula) is an infrequent, but not all that rare, tree species that has its own unique ecosystem thriving on its deadwood. One of these critters is the Aspen hoveryfly (Hammeschmidtia ferruginea) and it is endangered because large stands of aspen are uncommon and deadwood is often scarce. If I recall correctly, the various instars of the hoverfly rely on aspen logs of a very specific size and may even need access to wood at varying stages of decomposition at different times in their life.

Talk about making life difficult for yourself!

My rather roundabout point here is that deadwood is indeed an amazing thing. I think sometimes that the aspen hoverfly was just a lucky species that happened to be identified and studied by science, so its story - and its amazing reliance on just one specific species of tree - has become known. This makes me wonder about how many other species are dependant on just one particular tree or need deadwood in quantities or other conditions that we are not yet aware of.

Conservation is not all about whales, tigers, and honest politicians you know!

Anyway, thus ends my sermon for tonight. I feel that the effects of a few Friday night tipples are beginning to kick-in, so its best to leave now. Can't have me getting drunk at the end of my first week on the board.

Thanks for reading!

[Oh, by the way: yes, I did have to Google the correct spelling of Hammeschmidtia ferruginea!]

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Re: Wood from woods!!!

Post: #219624 MKG
Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:46 pm

poptrem wrote:My rather roundabout point here is that deadwood is indeed an amazing thing. I think sometimes that the aspen hoverfly was just a lucky species that happened to be identified and studied by science, so its story - and its amazing reliance on just one specific species of tree - has become known. This makes me wonder about how many other species are dependant on just one particular tree or need deadwood in quantities or other conditions that we are not yet aware of.

Conservation is not all about whales, tigers, and honest politicians you know!


(bold and italic added by me)

In spades. Poptrem, I think you're going to be a valued member of the community (not just because you agree with me :iconbiggrin: ). It makes you wonder!! Well, so it should - the fact is that surprisingly little research has been done on deadwood habitats, although we're beginning to recognise that maybe that research is becoming pressing. And not simply because of the deadwood environment per se. A lot of those rather pleasant things that sit and whistle pleasantly in the branches may well depend upon the denizens of Deadwood City.

That aside, a lot of posters on this subject also have needs - specifically the need to find fuel - and are in the difficult situation of either growing wood specifically for their needs, or picking up fallen wood. They, too, are animals who have the right to use their environment to their best advantage. But how to strike the balance? And how to ensure that the balance is maintained?

I honestly don't know the answers and, as an ageing hippy, feel emotionally predisposed to non-human animals (and we have given them a hard time and so owe them a little something). All I know is that it's discussions like this one, multiplied a million times across the world, which increase awareness and, hopefully, inform the uninformed and lead to possible solutions which suit every species.

Jeeez - doesn't that sound pompous? :lol:

Mike

EDIT: Oh - just one point. An honest politician?
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