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This "green" part of the web site is designed for existing or prospective woodland landowners, managers or tenants. Many will be newcomers to commercial recreation and will be seeking new ways to make money from their land and woods.

The best place to start is in the "helping you" section. This part of the site helps you search for commercial recreation activities that might be applicable in woodland. Each activity is associated with a series of relevant case studies and invaluable information notes to help you decide what might work for you.


Some of the most widely recognised benefits of woodlands are recreation provision which comprise:

 Leisure. Visits to woodlands are made for a variety of reasons, from quiet contemplation to noisy, adventurous activities.

Health. Benefits provided by moderate but sustained physical exercise and psychological well being (see Health section).

Lifestyle. Visitors seek particular kinds of emotional and spiritual refreshment.

Woodland recreation is defined here as a frequent but generally short-duration activity undertaken close to home. It is usually informal in nature benefiting from the presence of general access or rights-of-way.

The pattern of recreation usage raises issues of social inclusion. A disproportionately small percentage of people from multi-ethnic, low-income areas and less than half of those without cars are involved in woodland recreation. With careful siting, design, planning and management it should be possible to adopt measures to balance participation rates, although there are also issues of people’s perception and confidence that must be tackled.

Increasingly activity may be more organised and require travel to larger sites. Of particular relevance is the growth in interest in woodland cycling, paintball, archery and horse riding but also organised forest walks, forest drives, visitor centres and picnic sites.

Publicly accessible woodlands, both urban and rural, are key places where people feel they can ‘get away from it all’, and there may be a desire by some to get more actively involved with local woodlands.

The great variety of well-preserved archaeological monuments and features within woodlands merit presentation and interpretation as educational assets and visitor attractions.

The use of woodlands as a setting for art is becoming increasingly common and includes such events as concerts, plays and sculpture.

There is a lot of scope for attracting more families to woods, although individual requirements vary. For example mothers with young children want secure, low cost, accessible opportunities in which play facilities are provided whilst families with older children seek more strenuous activities.

The Naturally Active web site was launched by double-gold winning paralympic champion Danny Crates (Click here for more about Danny) on 18th January 2006.