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July 11, 2012

It all began at Wooplaw

Across Scotland there are over two hundred areas of woodland under the ownership or management of their local community. But what is almost common place now, was unheard of twenty five years ago.  That was until a small group of local people in the Scottish Borders saw the importance of keeping traditional woodland and woodland skills alive and decided to take action.  This year’s conference of Community Woodlands Association will celebrate this landmark event.


In 1987 Wooplaw Community Woodland became the first community woodland buyout in Scotland, leading the way in the formation of a national movement that now boasts over 200 community woodlands in Scotland. On the 1st and 2nd of September CWA will celebrate these people, their places, their progress and their passion during our national conference. The conference will be held alongside the planned celebrations in Wooplaw Woods, working with the Wooplaw Wardens to deliver an inspirational, informative and fun weekend worthy of celebration. 

Information about Wooplaw Woods:

Wooplaw Woods is an area of woodland that is dedicated to community use. That means it is there for people like you to visit whenever you like.

Within Wooplaw there are four distinct areas –Axehead Wood,  Big Wood,  Easter Park and Gullet Wood which lies within easy walking distance on the Lauder to Galashiels road. 

At the moment, there is a mixture of  hardwood trees and conifers. The long-term aim is to harvest most of the conifers and replant them with  hardwood trees, thereby adding to the wildlife potential of Wooplaw Woods.

Wooplaw Woods are owned and managed by Wooplaw Community Woodlands – a charitable organisation run entirely by volunteers who believe it is important to promote woodland culture and keep traditional woodland skills alive.

Our aim is to manage the woods for the benefit of the local community – in particular education, training, recreation, and the sustainable production of forest products. That includes providing a year round programme of events aimed at promoting a woodland culture, making the woods available as a free venue for other organisations to run events associated with music, arts, woodland skills, wildlife studies and other cultural studies, and also providing completely open access for members of the local community.

The CWA Conference will be held at Tweed Horizons Centre, Newtown St. Boswells TD6 0SG and the Dinner/Ceilidh will be at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel, St Boswells, Melrose TD6 0EW. Booking forms and conference schedules will be sent out to members shortly, but keep checking our events webpage for updated information.