Democracy, Community and Our Community Benefit Society (CBS)

We recognised early on that we needed the woods initially to be self-sufficient, then make a positive income to create jobs and to also pay back our investor, Roger Ross as we exercise our ‘Right to Buy’. Crowd-funding through Investor and Members Shares has been part of our planning.

To do this we have created a social enterprise called a Community Benefit Society (CBS), which applies commercial strategies to maximise community and environmental benefits. This short video explains our governance approach.

We received excellent help from the Plunkett Foundation’s ‘Make Local Woodlands Work’ programme, which offered us critical support in deciding on a suitable legal framework for the project.

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Signing the CBS documentation

We decided to become a Community Benefit Society (CBS) because it is the most democratic option for a project like this. Anyone can become a member as long as they buy one £50 share. Each member gets one vote, so no one person can ever dominate the decision-making process.

Initial Members Shares were offered in Autumn 2018. It is planned to offer Investor Shares in 2019. If you’d like to know more, contact us on and let us know your level of interest.

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Visioning Day – Photograph by Jules Bristow