I bought Century Wood in Shropshire in 2008. Most of the land was pasture until about 1900 when the Duke of Sutherland’s estate converted it to woodland. In the 1980s it was planted with non-native poplars but they were vulnerable to disease and the plantation was neglected. In the half shade between the tall poplars have regrown many native hazel trees, along with some ash and oak, elder and hawthorn, sycamore, alder, birch and horse chestnut. I’m managing the wood to accelerate the gradual replacement of the poplars with native trees, to encourage wildlife, and to provide a source of income from firewood. The grassed rides (paths) and open glades I created to get around and for wildlife also lend themselves to recreational uses like camping and photography.
Since I bought Century Wood I’ve always kept notes and taken photos to document what I’ve done. This blog lets me share some of that with you, and I intend to explore the full range of topics of what we might call woodscraft: living out in the woods, managing them, and making use of their produce. I also cover some wider forestry, rewilding, and renaturing issues, and record my visits to woodlands elsewhere in Britain and further afield.
I’ve also written up my own notes and lists about woodland planning law and about books relevant to trees and forests.
If you find the website useful or interesting, please consider using the donations page to help with its running costs.
Email: iain at centurywood.uk