Buying/Owning a wood

#81
A couple of thoughts - simple maths for sustainable forestry is you can only take the fraction per year that corresponds to the age of a mature tree, so tree matures in 50 years 1/50th, tree matures in 35 years 1/35, replant as you cut and someones grandchildren will thank you [unlikely to be yours]. This is the attraction of pollarding/copicing which has a faster turn round but only offers smaller timber.
Second point - Wild boar are 'dangerous animals' as legally defined - Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. so I'd expect a lot of red tape leading to a lot of expense not least on fencing [http://www.wild-boar.org.uk/pdf/WildBoar_fencing.pdf].
 
#82
Owning a small wood is for hobbyists nothing more ,no money to be made , firewood is worth around £30m³ on the tree , if you worked your bollox off you may make £25k pa , of course you`ll need to buy the kit to do all this , in reality amenity is for people who want to own a bit of land to play on .
If you are in your early forties buy 20+ acres and plant it as a pension fund , grants are sometimes available.

http://pdf.euro.savills.co.uk/uk/residential-property-focus-uk/spotlight-uk-forestry-market-2017.pdf

http://pdf.euro.savills.co.uk/uk/residential-property-focus-uk/spotlight-uk-forestry-market-2017.pdf
That's about it in a nutshell. If you want to do it great, but don't expect running a small wood to be a money maker or even wash it's face.

Friend of No.2 son is into Aboriculture and started out working for his Dad, now on his own as Pater has retired, leaving these shores with Mater for her native country after getting some deeply impertinent questions from Powers That Be.

One of his regular sources of lucrative work is (and here I quote directly) "doing basic woodland management shit for numpties".

By that he means people who have bought a small plot and then find they have grossly underestimated the time, physical effort, kit and skills required.

Apparently they tend to come in two types, being eager greeny Millenials and the active retired. First lot run out of time for career, kids etc and second can be creased by the work or just get bored.

Another group are syndicates and commercial operations who he simply contracts for which means keeping the Managing Agents sweet, a traditional skill set that you don't find on the course curriculum.
 
#83
Wild boar are subject to stringent fencing and security legislation as they fall into the remit of the "Dangerous Wild Animals" Act - or whatever it's called. The cost of approved fencing is very, very high.

A viable alternative is the "Iron Age Pig" which is usually a Tamworth/wild Boar cross which is not subject to the above legislation.

However, these too require really good fencing. They do not put on condition at anything like the rate of commercial breeds so the interval between birth and bacon can be up to a year which means that all the males of the litters born will have to be castrated at birth in order to avoid "Boar Taint" - either that or kill them when they are coming up to the 6 month point of age.
This supposes that the sow'll let you get your hands on the newly born piglets - best of luck with that.

Processing Wild Pig carcasses is not as simple as taking them to the nearest slaughterhouse on Monday and collecting a butcher ready carcass on the Wednesday. Wild Pig/Iron Age Pig are hairy, very hairy, so if the hair is to be removed by scalding is a multi dip process and so when done commercially incurs additional costs.
Alternatively the carcass can be skinned which takes time and skill as well as depriving you of any crackling!

Oh, yes, another thing to consider: the law allows you to humanely slaughter your own stock but the disposal of offal etc, is subject to legal requirements and the meat is for the personal consumption of the animals legal owner, not his wife/children/servants/servants tennis partners. Bear in mind that the slaughtering process needs to include a bleeding out time so whilst although being dead the carcass needs to be stuck and the nose X incised and then hung by its rear ankles - this must be done super quick fast as the faster the carcass cools the faster the blood co-agulates and the more blood in the carcass the faster it will decay (IMHO). Catching the blood to make Black Puddings? - nah, forget it, cheaper and easier to buy in dried blood on 'tinterweb

There is, however, a really simple way to keep to the letter of the law which allows you to sell your Wild Pig products on. You form a pig club in which the members purchase a share of the animal the cost of which varies with the value of the part of the carcass they want to buy so, for example, loin shares are more expensive than belly shares, ham shares are more expensive than shoulder shares. You need to be spot on with your share costings as you have to calculate the complete range of buy-in costs for each animal over the duration of it's life as well as factoring your profit margins. Let's face it, you are in competition with established business so your price/Kg has to compete with them.

You can add value to the meat by home butchering, bacon making, ham curing, brawn making, sausages, salamis, rillettes etc, but all of these are subject to stringent Food Hygene regulations as well as packing/labelling legislation. You can bypass a lot of these if you offer individual customers day courses in these black arts you supply the meat and equipment the customers leave with a finished product.

All of the above supposes you can either be taught these skills to a professional level within a reasonable period of time or you can find an individual who already possesses them.

All in all, it ain't f****** easy.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#84
We need a 'Groan' button, and we need it NOW!!
I considered including a bark reference to tie in with the dogging references, but it was going to be contrived. I bough to anyone who does better.
 
#86
No plans to go down wild boar/deer route. It’s purely post retirement venture for a bit of a hobby/pocket money from flooding the wood. Quite like the idea of pine martins to see of the grey squirrel & get reds back & general conservation on a small scale.

Lots of sound advice & food for thought received.

Many thanks.
 
#87
Wild boar are subject to stringent fencing and security legislation as they fall into the remit of the "Dangerous Wild Animals" Act - or whatever it's called. The cost of approved fencing is very, very high.

A viable alternative is the "Iron Age Pig" which is usually a Tamworth/wild Boar cross which is not subject to the above legislation.

However, these too require really good fencing. They do not put on condition at anything like the rate of commercial breeds so the interval between birth and bacon can be up to a year which means that all the males of the litters born will have to be castrated at birth in order to avoid "Boar Taint" - either that or kill them when they are coming up to the 6 month point of age.
This supposes that the sow'll let you get your hands on the newly born piglets - best of luck with that.

Processing Wild Pig carcasses is not as simple as taking them to the nearest slaughterhouse on Monday and collecting a butcher ready carcass on the Wednesday. Wild Pig/Iron Age Pig are hairy, very hairy, so if the hair is to be removed by scalding is a multi dip process and so when done commercially incurs additional costs.
Alternatively the carcass can be skinned which takes time and skill as well as depriving you of any crackling!

Oh, yes, another thing to consider: the law allows you to humanely slaughter your own stock but the disposal of offal etc, is subject to legal requirements and the meat is for the personal consumption of the animals legal owner, not his wife/children/servants/servants tennis partners. Bear in mind that the slaughtering process needs to include a bleeding out time so whilst although being dead the carcass needs to be stuck and the nose X incised and then hung by its rear ankles - this must be done super quick fast as the faster the carcass cools the faster the blood co-agulates and the more blood in the carcass the faster it will decay (IMHO). Catching the blood to make Black Puddings? - nah, forget it, cheaper and easier to buy in dried blood on 'tinterweb

There is, however, a really simple way to keep to the letter of the law which allows you to sell your Wild Pig products on. You form a pig club in which the members purchase a share of the animal the cost of which varies with the value of the part of the carcass they want to buy so, for example, loin shares are more expensive than belly shares, ham shares are more expensive than shoulder shares. You need to be spot on with your share costings as you have to calculate the complete range of buy-in costs for each animal over the duration of it's life as well as factoring your profit margins. Let's face it, you are in competition with established business so your price/Kg has to compete with them.

You can add value to the meat by home butchering, bacon making, ham curing, brawn making, sausages, salamis, rillettes etc, but all of these are subject to stringent Food Hygene regulations as well as packing/labelling legislation. You can bypass a lot of these if you offer individual customers day courses in these black arts you supply the meat and equipment the customers leave with a finished product.

All of the above supposes you can either be taught these skills to a professional level within a reasonable period of time or you can find an individual who already possesses them.

All in all, it ain't f****** easy.
Apply for a licence to keep a wild animal - GOV.UK , I had to get one for the wife.
 
#90
Good luck with your plans, I used to meet small wood owners who had deer problems, the problem is the other owners wouldn't be interested or be anti.
Most of the small woodlands sold by that mob are tiny parcels, ok for a hobby but no one I know has ever made money from their ground. There are usually more liabilities than opportunities so its a labour of love rather than a huge investment.
At one time the Deer society claimed Woodlands.co.uk were spelling the death knell of deer management by parcelling up woodland. The problem for a big wood owner is its 2.5 k for an acre when sold at 80+ acres but almost 10k an acre when sold in 5 acre parcels.
Read this @ScaleyAlbereto ^^^

I would have priced it at the same figures ( so you had a base line to work from ) but it's all done here above for you. ^^^
Sorry to spread some sadness / misery for you - but it can become a bit like ''The Tyranny Of Small Boat Ownership '' - literally a labour of love , and difficult to sell-on afterwards.

What do I know ? I owned 400 acres of Farmland - a neighbour wanted to sell a 100acre wood,as he was getting on a bit , and wanted the money for 'other' things - I asked him why ask me ( or any other Farmers ) or even a fairly local sawmill owner. - he said the Sawmill owner was a destructive character - with no real feeling for the land - and he liked my fenced of 30 acres of Oak , then about 20 years old.

I saw the woods / liked it / had its own fresh spring water / and good ground coverage AND space - as in uncrowded , as he had cleared quite a bit to allow growth and stop self-seeding.

This is what I then did:- Firstly got the Solicitor to check for ANY clauses on the land / and for ANY clause / claim for what was under the Land.
Then had the land tested for its quality and make up - and whatever was needed to bring it back to health as it were .
Solicitor intro'd me to a large scale Commercial Forestry Owner. Told me too small for him , but exactly as @Dark_Nit said - parcel it off and you can make more out of it AFTER logging it yourself.

I bought it - and used a Solicitor from 'away' - mainly as he didn't want anyone else to know of the sale.
I had the lot fenced ( Pig-wire ) used timber from the Woods for fencing stakes , to make a nice strong barrier . Then the work started , I knew a Dept. of Agri. man who also lectured in a nearby Coll.of Agri.
so I hired three Undergrads to 'work' the woods up for me via listing and etc., paid them also - then bought some Sows to clear the land of some of the clutter - then sold them off.

Like another poster said - started to Coppice - very useful for winter firewood - plus all fallen branches.

Next door to the Woodland was a derelict House - bought from owner / matched the woodland to it and sold it on - took about 3 years from start to finish - new owner was retired couple ( he had been a Printer ) in their 50's and were very happy there. Yes I made a profit too...

The point of ALL this is to say that a small parcel may have several restrictions unknown to you - so it pays to have a Solicitor to look over the deeds AND the local Council attitude / rules & regs before you start - not forgetting bloke from whatever new Dept of Agri is now called ?

Apologies for length.....
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
#91
OP: I've worked and managed bits of woodland all my life as a hobby. It's a lovely thing to do but, if you're trying to make money from it then be prepared to gain a lot of knowledge very quickly and put in a lot of hard physical work.

This year I cut and sold some of my Nordmann Fir Christmas trees that had taken 12 years to reach a decent height so be prepared to wait for any returns. The only timber that you can expect to sell straight away (unseasoned) for firewood is Ash and that is currently selling at £135 a cubic metre plus delivery. Some timber is hopeless for firewood and that includes Sycamore. You might be able to sell the trimmings from Silver Birch for racecourse 'hedges' with the main branches going to make hairbrushes. If you want to sell wood for turning, paint the ends as soon as it is felled to stop it splitting. Just hope that you don't have deer, boar or badgers who want to share your woodland.

There's just a few little tips for you but I can think of plenty more - PM me if you have any specific questions.
 
#92
Read this @ScaleyAlbereto ^^^

I would have priced it at the same figures ( so you had a base line to work from ) but it's all done here above for you. ^^^
Sorry to spread some sadness / misery for you - but it can become a bit like ''The Tyranny Of Small Boat Ownership '' - literally a labour of love , and difficult to sell-on afterwards.

What do I know ? I owned 400 acres of Farmland - a neighbour wanted to sell a 100acre wood,as he was getting on a bit , and wanted the money for 'other' things - I asked him why ask me ( or any other Farmers ) or even a fairly local sawmill owner. - he said the Sawmill owner was a destructive character - with no real feeling for the land - and he liked my fenced of 30 acres of Oak , then about 20 years old.

I saw the woods / liked it / had its own fresh spring water / and good ground coverage AND space - as in uncrowded , as he had cleared quite a bit to allow growth and stop self-seeding.

This is what I then did:- Firstly got the Solicitor to check for ANY clauses on the land / and for ANY clause / claim for what was under the Land.
Then had the land tested for its quality and make up - and whatever was needed to bring it back to health as it were .
Solicitor intro'd me to a large scale Commercial Forestry Owner. Told me too small for him , but exactly as @Dark_Nit said - parcel it off and you can make more out of it AFTER logging it yourself.

I bought it - and used a Solicitor from 'away' - mainly as he didn't want anyone else to know of the sale.
I had the lot fenced ( Pig-wire ) used timber from the Woods for fencing stakes , to make a nice strong barrier . Then the work started , I knew a Dept. of Agri. man who also lectured in a nearby Coll.of Agri.
so I hired three Undergrads to 'work' the woods up for me via listing and etc., paid them also - then bought some Sows to clear the land of some of the clutter - then sold them off.

Like another poster said - started to Coppice - very useful for winter firewood - plus all fallen branches.

Next door to the Woodland was a derelict House - bought from owner / matched the woodland to it and sold it on - took about 3 years from start to finish - new owner was retired couple ( he had been a Printer ) in their 50's and were very happy there. Yes I made a profit too...

The point of ALL this is to say that a small parcel may have several restrictions unknown to you - so it pays to have a Solicitor to look over the deeds AND the local Council attitude / rules & regs before you start - not forgetting bloke from whatever new Dept of Agri is now called ?

Apologies for length.....
No apology needed. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated
 
#93
OP: I've worked and managed bits of woodland all my life as a hobby. It's a lovely thing to do but, if you're trying to make money from it then be prepared to gain a lot of knowledge very quickly and put in a lot of hard physical work.

This year I cut and sold some of my Nordmann Fir Christmas trees that had taken 12 years to reach a decent height so be prepared to wait for any returns. The only timber that you can expect to sell straight away (unseasoned) for firewood is Ash and that is currently selling at £135 a cubic metre plus delivery. Some timber is hopeless for firewood and that includes Sycamore. You might be able to sell the trimmings from Silver Birch for racecourse 'hedges' with the main branches going to make hairbrushes. If you want to sell wood for turning, paint the ends as soon as it is felled to stop it splitting. Just hope that you don't have deer, boar or badgers who want to share your woodland.

There's just a few little tips for you but I can think of plenty more - PM me if you have any specific questions.
Again, thanks for the info. Seems like it can be a decent hobby semi retired with the possibility of a bit of cash but not reliable income. Still like the idea.

No problems with deer or boar where I’m looking. Badgers quite possibly...the trees are mainly pine.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
#94
Again, thanks for the info. Seems like it can be a decent hobby semi retired with the possibility of a bit of cash but not reliable income. Still like the idea.

No problems with deer or boar where I’m looking. Badgers quite possibly...the trees are mainly pine.
Yes, a very nice hobby is probably the best way to look at it, especially if you want to work with nature and do not want to make a decent living from your land. There are some great contributions in this thread and it would be good if you would let the posters know of your progress. Good luck....
 
#95
Spot on @winged

We gave in looking as it was obvious that it had the capacity to become a money / time pit. A bit like a boat. There are two great days in your life, the day you buy a boat and the day you sell it.

My old boss owned about 10 acres of ancient woodland but he used it mainly to fire his wood burning Aga and it was also pretty much a hobby. He also spent a lot of time getting rid of grey squirrels (or at least keeping the numbers down) plus various other bits of help with heavy lifting from a local farmer.

He owned it for over 30 years and made a very small profit when he sold it, but I stress that it was a hobby as well as providing fire wood.

As I have other time consuming hobbies [children being one] we concluded that money was best spent elsewhere.

One other issue that no-one has yet noted is the problem of trespassers, principally the loopy fruits that want to pitch a tent, have a fire and smoke dope on your private land. As we all know, one small fire can totally destroy a patch of woodland.

PS, I would still like a few acres of woodland...
 

ExREME..TECH

On ROPS
On ROPs
#97
How many dead prostitutes could you bury per acre ?

Just out of interest.
Better off digging a cellar of some sorts and keeping them, bit like Kiss The Girls
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#99
Do woods actually get inspected on a regular basis by some government busy-body (or lots of them, given the huge range of bureaucratic entities we've been saddled with), or are you able to - say - carve out the middle of your wood and plant a good old cannabis crop?
Massively, we used to get a visit from the council to check on land usage, they would trespass to check we weren't using it as a dump or an off road race track. We used to leave a battered 4wd for feed rounds and the council served us a notice to have it and the old caravan we used as a shelter removed. You can have a field shelter but the rules are stringent. Our coppicer used to build a giant lean to using tarpaulins and take it down every season end.
 

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