We’re a group of families that live and work in Southern Scotland who share a passionate interest in the bringing more deciduous reforestation to this part of the country. We want to regenerate conifer plantations into more bio-diverse and natural woodlands, using the standing conifer woods creatively by making fun products like outdoor wood fired saunas, solar kilns, huts and cabin.
The project is currently based in South Lanarkshire but aims to create a community ownership model for the re-purposing of conifer plantation sites which could be rolled out throughout the country.
This collective has grown out of various friendships which are united in a passion for native woodland and a frustration at current forestry approaches and subsidies. We aim to achieve various small term goals with the long term aim of purchasing an area of conifer woodland which can be managed and regenerated into native woodland alongside reforestation of various areas of hill grazing which currently dominate the South Lanarkshire countryside.
Who we are
Simon Colley is a woodsman with a lifetimes experience of woodland crafts and carpentry, with a passion for re-foresting and natural building techniques. Simon, with Tom and Sarah, has recently launched a small business called Wiston Wood Crafts, teaching skills like spoon carving. Over the last 20 years Simon has succesfully restored an ex-plantation forest into a healthy decidous woodland in South Lanarkshire.
Tom Allan is a radio and film-maker who has worked for the BBC and the Guardian as an online journalist. In recent years Tom has become a volunteer for Wiston Lodge, an inspiring outdoor education centre and hub for music and events near to Biggar. Tom is also a passionate advocate of hutting communities, and recently completed a shepherds hut for him and his family. You’ll find more information about Tom’s work here at www.tomallan.net
Sarah Clover Harris is a skilled craftswoman and designer, and a mum of two living in Edinburgh. She has experience working with adults with learning difficulties within a garden setting and has seen first hand the immense benefits outdoor activities can have and how nourishing it can be. She and her partner Tom share a love of foraging and cooking wild food over an open fire.
Caff McCluskey is an experienced community gardener with a huge belief in the curative powers of the great outdoors and a great love of family. Caff is particularly keen to create productive and sustainable forest gardens at an early stage in the project.
Gene Wrathall is a freelance outdoor instructor at Wiston Lodge, and shares a passion with Simon for building using natural materials and green wood timber. Gene would also like to be a viking…