From 2015-2018, Shared Assets worked in the pilot project Making Local Woods Work, which aimed to support and grow woodland social enterprises across the UK. Funded by the National Lottery and led by the Plunkett Foundation, the project supported 50 social enterprises.
Shared Assets were members of the programme steering group, providing strategic leadership to the programme alongside other partners including Locality, the Woodland Trust, Grown in Britain, Hill Holt Wood, Llais Y Goedwig, The Community Woodland Association, the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Plunkett Foundation.
We also worked to provide a range of support and advice to groups participating in the programme, where Shared Assets undertook governance reviews, supported the development of business plans, and helped build the capacity of groups taking on new land and developing new projects. We helped the following projects:
- Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park in London, to review their purpose, legal structure and business plan, and to further develop their partnership with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets who own the site.
- London Green Wood to incorporate their organisation and develop a legal structure, membership, and ways of working that will enable them to develop a sustainable future.
- BEAMZ CIC, Hampshire, to review their legal structure and governance.
- Raincliffe Wood Community Enterprise, Scarborough, to review their governance and business plan.
As part of this programme we also had the opportunity to lead webinars and run workshops on scaling and governance, facilitate regional peer networking sessions, and co-facilitate a thematic peer group of woodland enterprise hubs.