Woodland Crofts

 A potential site for woodland crofts

What is a Woodland Croft?

A woodland croft is a registered croft with sufficient tree cover overall to be considered a woodland. It is subject to the same legislative framework as a regular croft but is different in that it needs to have a minimum of 80% tree cover. A wide variety of tree species can be planted, from elder to willow, to fit with the needs and aspirations of the crofter. This means that woodland crofts tend to increase the biodiversity of the forest.

There are other potential benefits to a community forest in establishing woodland crofts. Woodland crofts can be sited in areas that are not suitable for commercial forestry and woodland crofters will bring and develop skills that can help to build the capacity of the community to manage the forest.

The benefits to the crofter are the same as with any croft, providing access to land and a potential livelihood, a place to live and security of tenure. This means that the development of woodland crofts can contribute towards meeting the economic and social aspirations of the wider community, including the retention of working age individuals and families.

Houses on woodland crofts are subject to the same planning regulations as any other croft house. Using timber from the forest for the construction and heating of woodland croft houses makes sense in terms of cost, would limit environmental impact and would ensure that houses blend in to the surrounding woodland.

At Tiroran Community Forest we hope to develop between six and ten crofts in the next few years.

For more information, please contact Celia, our Woodland Crofts project officer, at admin@swmid.co.uk