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Buying woodland? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Bushcraft Chatter' started by pauljm116, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. pauljm116

    pauljm116 Native

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    Im really glad I asked the question now. It started as something I could only dream about and now its looking more likely (although not for a few years), but its a goal to aim for.

    For now I may have to start looking at gettting a permission somewhere, how do you find out who owns bits of land? Or is it better to ask local farmers if they have any woods you can borrow.
     
  2. wicca

    wicca Native

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    I think the personal approach is favourite, for a start a letter can just be ignored whereas if you knock on the door they will at least talk to you even if they say clear off.. One approach you could try and I don't know what your skills are, is to offer help..unpaid labour if you like, in exchange for permission to use their wood. Many farmers won't turn their noses up at help during busy times, harvest, baling, etc: If you've got a skill/trade it helps. Long time ago I got shooting permission because I could post and rail fence and hang field gates..If no money changes hands they don't have to worry about paperwork for casual labour etc: they're snowed under with red tape as it is. If the door you knock on hasn't got anything for you...he may know a man who has..a letter may just go in the bin..
     
  3. pauljm116

    pauljm116 Native

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    I dont have any skills that could be useful to a farmer, but could help with some tasks as Im fit(ish) and healthy(ish), so may be able to offer some unpaid labour. Might be worth knocking on a few doors, worst case scenario is they say no, so got nothing to lose.
     
  4. gliderrider

    gliderrider Forager

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    TBH, I'd love to own my own woodland to live in, wether I run it as coppice or a greenfield campsite or whtever would depend on how big the site was and what sort of location it was in.

    Ideally, for me I'd like enough of it to live in, hunt in & provide firewood & forage, but, regretably, thats only a pipe dream.
     
  5. 320ccc

    320ccc New Member

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    here in the states our laws and land use rights are much different than yours.

    that saiid the biggest expense we had when we bought our ground was attorney fees and title search.

    there is oil drilling within a mile or two of our place so mineral rights was an issue.

    fiber optic and copper cable is buried close to our boundaries so easements had to be cleared up.

    there is about a half mile of stream meandering through the ground. flow isn't guaranteed because of our state's approach to water law.

    because of the stream various government entities have some input as to land use.

    on the upside there is an absolute prohibition of trespass. the stream isn't classed as navigable thus no right to portage.

    if you can afford the ground and the subsequent taxes, i say go for it.

    make sure you realize it will be way more work than you estimated.

    most importantly have a perfect understanding as to what you own and don't own and your right to use it.
     
  6. Stringmaker

    Stringmaker Native

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    I would say what others have done; it is well worth it and I would love to do it.

    As an aside, I had an uncle who sold off part of his garden and then took out a loan to buy 40 acres of ancient wood in Kent 40 years ago.

    He's long dead now and I wish I could know him; he was an ecologist, woodsman, naturalist and conservationist before any of those were fashionable.
     
  7. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    The thing to remember is that there is a finite amount of land; they're not making any more. Any land you buy is likely to gain value in the long term (current bubble bursting aside)
     
  8. 320ccc

    320ccc New Member

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    santaman that tends to be true.

    our ground was the residue of a family's farm. they raised corn and soybeans. this was too rough for large scale cultivation and not particularly good as pasture. as a result we picked it up for a song.

    with the current ag land price spiral we have neighboring ground going for as high as 3000usd an acre. ours is worth a half or a third as much. but the taxes have multiplied at a different rate than land values. i'm not overly naive but i didn't anticipate the amounts involved.

    we're almost eighty miles from any significant urban development (in any direction). it's much worse closer to even small towns
     
  9. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    One good thing about the uk is that we do not have land taxes so small non cash raising plots are viable.
     
  10. Big_bazza99

    Big_bazza99 Nomad

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    I bought a small wood 7.5 acres and have had mixed experiences.

    It is probably about 2 miles from a residential area and has road frontage and a bridle path. Can't believe the amount of dumping we get - tvs, animal bones, garden waste etc. Also have had party goers that decided cutting trees down for fires was good and leaving a huge (and I mean huge) number of empty cans and bottles.

    On the plus side - when we go there, assuming I am not cleaning up someone else's mess, it's wonderful. We've had it for about 18 months so you get to see how it changes and it's just great to sit down and brew up and enjoy the environment.

    The other positive is that when we bought the wood, There were 2 lots. Woodlands.co.uk bought the larger lot - about 90 acres and have been selling c 6-7 acre blocks of that for double what we paid for ours!

    Despite the issues we have had, I don't regret it.
     
  11. Big_bazza99

    Big_bazza99 Nomad

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    Forgot to mention, these guys tend to be cheaper than some of the other sites - a matter of luck about what comes up and where - and yes some plots are large but you do sometimes get small ones.

    http://www.johnclegg.co.uk/
     
  12. Silverhill

    Silverhill Maker

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    My wife and I have been toying with the idea for a couple of years now, and have booked onto a handful of courses focused upon planting and managing woodland and coppice. It helps to build a base of knowledge based upon solid fact and financial calculations, rather than do what we did initially and take the odd snippet of info from the net, combined with hear-say and a few books.

    As for the purchase of woodland, unless you're in the know or very lucky, woodland coming up in small (<10 acre) plots is very rare indeed. The likes of the large internet-based sellers seem to have the market sewn up for smaller plots of woodlands, and you pay quite a premium for a 'ready-to-go' woodland in my opinion.

    Our plan differs somewhat from the usual approach many folks take to buying a woodland; initially we're looking at pastureland which is far more plentiful than planted woodland, approximately 10 acres in size. We'd like a small return from the outset, so partitioning half for rental equestrian purposes (subject to suitability), seems a viable option based upon the demand for livery and grazing around here. The other half is planned for native species which lend themselves well to coppice products or charcoal such as hornbeam, birch, and possibly beech.

    It's foolhardy for me to believe I can purchase a woodland just for my own camping purposes, I need a way for the land to pay for itself.
     
    #32 Silverhill, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  13. Martti

    Martti Full Member

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    How much does woodland per acre cost generally in the U.K? The average trading value for woodland in Finland per hectare in 2010 was 3328 &#8364;/ha when the total area was between two and five hectares. This works out to be 1347 &#8364; or 1127 £ per acre. The value of land in e.g. Lapland is about the half of the value that of land in Southern Finland.

    The land is probably calculated for a well maintained piece of woodland with commercial value. One could buy cheaper land with less or none commercial value with much lower price, I suspect. This type of land would be also probably better for bushcrafting purposes. Then again, I do not see any purpose of owning land in Finland without the purpose of either using it for commercial purposes or building a house on it!
     
  14. Silverhill

    Silverhill Maker

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    Martti: Woodland varies considerably in terms of cost in the UK, based amongst other factors but mainly upon geographic location and amenity value. In my area, there is a small 0.75 acre plot for sale at an asking price of £10k, but I'd say the average value is around £10k per acre with reasonable road access and no restrictive covenants.

    People in the UK don't seem that willing to plant their own woodland in general, I see it as an excellent opportunity!
     
  15. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I posted up details of how we found our woodland before. Basically we noticed some paddocks being sold with some woodland attached. I knew people would want the paddocks so I called the agent, arranged a viewing and ended up buying the woodland plus a bit more for well under £2k an acre. The woodland is a mix of old scrub and 10-20 year old newly planted grassland.

    As there's been quite a lot of young woodland planted in the last few decades I'm sure similar patches could be found.

    One thing I would advise anyone who's thinking about it, go and look round a few that are for sale. You don't have to buy but I found it very useful looking around several before I bought the one I did.
     
  16. treadlightly

    treadlightly Full Member

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    Going the pre-prepared route, small parcels of woodland cost between 5 and 10k an acre, but this thread has thrown up a couple of alternative routes in which sound well worth checking out.
     
  17. 320ccc

    320ccc New Member

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