Old Hall Wood, Bouth
Forestry Commission 'Community Woodland'
last updated 18/9/12

Liaison Group

Meetings Work Parties Spring-watch Upcoming events

Background: Old Hall Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland on the outskirts of the village of Bouth in South Lakeland. It is owned and managed by the Forestry Commission. It covers 36 hectares, c. 28 being mixed broadleaves of mainly oak and birch, and c. 7 under conifer (yew, some planted European larch and Sitka spruce). See the Forestry Commission website for more details including the current Forest Design Plan.

Photo: © Roderick Smith


Photo: © Roderick Smith

Over the summer of 2011, the Forestry Commission approached the Parish Council to ask whether the local community would be interested in becoming more involved in the management of Old Hall Wood, Bouth as a pilot 'Community Woodland' scheme. A walk through the wood and a meeting in Bouth Village Hall on 13th August 2011 confirmed that there was a lot of interest in this proposal. The Old Hall Wood Liaison Group was formed to take things forward.


Since then, the FC staff and local community volunteers have been working brilliantly together as a team - making decisions about the management of the wood and getting stuck into the practicalities of coppicing, clearing paths and ditches and reconstructing gateways (see work parties below).

Old Hall Wood is, we feel, a great example of community involvement and collaborative working.



Photo: © Paul Holden

Notes from meetings:


The Old Hall Wood Liaison Group members are:

Mr Ken Dean (Parish Councillor and Bouth resident)
Mr Paul Holden (Bouth resident)
Mr Mark Sharphouse (Bouth resident)

Work Parties

Old Hall Wood –Work Party – 15th June 2012 - prior to RFS visit on 16th!

Work concentrated on clearing paths for the planned tour through the wood for the Royal Forestry Society visit the next day.

Old Hall Wood –Work Party – 26th May 2012

The main work on 16th May was construction of a replacement fence and hurdle at the old loading bay to deter trail bikes which had started using the wood. An unusually sunny day for this otherwise wet and dreary summer!  - see pics below.

Old Hall Wood – Work Party – 23 March 2012

A team from the Forestry Commission were joined by 11 volunteers to complete the trimming of trees and improvement of access along the path adjacent to the fields. Part of the group disappeared into the main wood to remove a section of disused deer fencing and the remainder cleared the cut logs and branches from the path. A great deal of progress was made and most of this work is now complete. It is amazing how this has improved the views across to the village and opened up the vista along the path. Many thanks to all who took part on the day.  Paul Holden

(The Forestry Commission plan to re-instate the hurdle gate at the old loading bay and uncover the existing stile and dog-gate that lurk under the brambles and bracken. There are signs that trail bikers have been using this track, so hopefully this should be a deterrant.)

Photos by Paul Holden. Click on thumbnails below to bring up full size picture:




Old Hall Wood – First Work Party – 2nd March 2012

Four foresters were joined by 13 local volunteers to start improving the access and paths on the lower level walk through the woods.  Work progressed throughout the day and much improvement was noticeable especially the views of the village from the path.  Thanks to everyone who took part.  Next work party Friday 23rd March, 9.30 am – All welcome.

Photos by Paul Holden. Click on thumbnails below to bring up full size picture:


One worker and 4 cups of tea?


The road gang.


Whack it to em! – proper job this.



Work in progress.


That’s a big one Dave !



Who stole all the trees ?

Proposed site of the Bouth hot tub


Guess who has been doing all the work today ?