Through this short study in 2016, we will capture a snapshot of local practice and the potential for shared land asset partnerships. We investigate how land access and use is organised so that educational and community projects may happen, and to support shared involvement in woodland management.
The study looks solely at public landowners and organisations managing public access woodland, not private landowners. The study is funded by the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund, and is locally focused upon the AONB area.
Most land-based community and educational projects are delivered by community, not-for-profit and third sector organisations. Unless these practitioner organisations own land, the projects depend upon active partnership agreements with land owners. We know that shared involvement and good communications within these agreements are critical to project success, yet what does this look like in practice?
We have designed the survey and interviews so we can find out more about perspectives and current practice, looking at:
- the ways that practitioner organisations can approach landowners and managers
- how to find out about local land that could be available
- the brokering of new relationships between public landowners and practitioner organisations
- the steps that both partners need to address in setting up new provision and land-based partnerships
- the common challenges and facilitators to these partnerships and projects
- mutual benefits and outcomes of collaboration and partnership.
Five Cotswold area local authorities and two parish councils are involved in the consultation:
- Cheltenham Borough Council
- Cotswold District Council
- Gloucestershire County Council
- Stroud District Council
- South Gloucestershire Council
- Uley Parish Council
- Dursley Parish Council
Five local environmental and nature conservation organisations managing public access woodland will also be consulted:
- Woodland Trust
- Tortworth Arboretum
- Cotswold Area of Natural Beauty / Cotswold Conservation Board
- National Trust
- Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
We will publish the final report in June 2016 which will include best practice guidance and recommendations for future strategy. It will be downloadable from this website and freely available to share.