Knighton Tree Allotments Trust is a group of volunteers who manage woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members. We come together to share and learn woodland skills. We manage woodland sustainably to allow our members access to affordable woodland products – such as firewood and timber. Knighton Tree Allotments Trust is a separately constituted organisation that grew from Teme Valley Environment Group, who generously still host our web presence. Please see further down the page for further general information about Knighton Tree Allotments Trust.
News from KTAT
New Training Programme Launched
Knighton Tree Allotments Trust is developing a training programme around woodland and countryside skills. We are delighted to announce the first courses on this programme – Introduction to Woodland Management and Hedge Laying.
Our Introduction to Woodland Management course is for those who would like to know more about the traditional management of small woodlands and sustainable woodland products such as firewood. Day 1 of the training is classroom based and introduces participants to the theory of woodland management, giving them a greater appreciation of how we can utilise woodlands for the sustainable growth of products whilst protecting and enhancing biodiversity. Days 2 and 3 are woodland based and focus on practical training in how to select trees for felling, how to safely fell small trees using hand tools, how to extract and season wood and how to process wood into products such as logs.
The course will be run in the Knighton area on Saturdays 9th, 16th and 23rd November 2019 (and in March 2020 – see below) and will cost between £33 and £99 per person depending on how many days you decide to attend. For more information please look at the Course Outline – Intro to Woodland Mgmt Nov 2019 (a pdf document). To book onto the course please use whichever one of these forms is easier for you:
Booking Form – Intro to Woodland Mgmt Nov 2019 (this is a Microsoft Word file)
Booking Form – Intro to Woodland Mgmt Nov 2019 (this is a pdf file)
Just in case you cannot make the November 2019 Intro to Woodland Management Course, it will be repeated on Saturdays 7th, 14th and 21st March 2020! For more information please look at the Course Outline – Intro to Woodland Mgmt March 2020 (a pdf document). To book onto the course please use whichever one of these forms is easier for you:
Booking Form – Intro to Woodland Mgmt March 2020 (this is a Microsoft Word file)
Booking Form – Intro to Woodland Mgmt March 2020 (this is a pdf file)
The Hedge Laying course ran over the weekend of Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th October 2019 near to Brampton Bryan on the Shropshire / Herefordshire border and cost £150 per person. On this course, the trainees were taught the traditional skill of hedge laying and how to safely use the hand-tools necessary for the job. They then got to practise their skills on a section of hedge. We were really pleased with the way the hedge laying course went: the trainees were quick to learn from our instructor, Chris Gurney, and even the weather was kind to us. We received fantastic support from prize-winning hedge layer Henry Morgan when he visited to show us his collection of tools and share his knowledge and experience. Henry won his first hedging prize in 1953, just one year after learning the craft.
We are keen to repeat the hedge-laying training course, so if you would like to attend please contact us at email@example.com or on 01547 520374.
We hope to be offering more courses soon so please watch this space for further information!
New Task Day Programme Published
Do you want some fresh air and exercise while being sociable and helping local wildlife? Then you’ve come to the right place! The October to December 2019 programme of KTAT task days in local woodlands can be seen below under “Our Current Programme” or downloaded here as a pdf file: KTAT Task Programme Oct-Dec 2019 for website.
KTAT AGM 2019 with “Deep Connections” talk by Martin Redfern a great success
Martin presented two big ideas in 40 minutes to a packed Reynolds Room at Knighton Community Centre: The depth of geological time, which makes almost all things possible, and the incredible interconnectedness of everything from the nature of the universe to the trees in a forest. Martin is a lapsed geologist turned radio producer who loves our natural world. After 37 exciting years as a science producer at BBC Radio, he has moved to the Radnorshire Hills to pursue several freelance projects and look after 22 acres of woodland, fields and garden.
The talk was preceded by the Knighton Tree Allotments Trust’s AGM. The audience saw how we engage in sustainable woodland management for the benefit of local people. We protect and enhance wildlife whilst generating woodland products such as firewood and timber for our members.
The 2019 KTAT annual newsletter
Read all about what we have been doing from Spring 2018 to Spring 2019. KTAT Newsletter 2019
We would like to say a big “thank you” to 3 companies and local shoppers for their support of our work. We have received 2 donations of £350 and £2,345 from the Make A Difference Locally scheme run by Nisa grocery stores. Bucknell-based Hornsea Steels has twice kindly donated materials for tool shed roofs. We have also received £1,000 from the Bags of Help scheme at the Llandrindod Wells Tesco store following a public vote.
This kind of local support allows KTAT to carry on its valuable work in local woodlands, so we would like to thank those companies and those of you who voted for our project at Tescos.
About Knighton Tree Allotments Trust (KTAT)…
It is a common misconception that unmanaged woodland is best for wildlife. In fact, by managing the woodland through traditional practices such as coppicing, we increase the variety of habitats and increase the richness of wildlife. In ensuring that the trees that we fell for fuel or timber are replaced with new plants, we are creating a sustainable supply of woodland products.
In sustainably growing firewood and other woodland products we can meet some of our fuel and food needs as well as reducing our carbon footprints. At the same time we are joining co-operatively with other local people to enjoy, conserve and enrich our local environment.
So why, as a conservation group, do we cut down trees? There are several reasons for this. First of all, sometimes we are simply harvesting a crop. Most broadleaved trees, when coppiced (cut almost to ground level), will re-grow and can be harvested again in a few years – how many years depends on the site conditions and what size of wood you need: beanpoles can be harvested after 3 to 4 years whereas firewood takes 8 to 15 years. Trees can last for centuries being cut like this. Sometimes we want to give certain trees more space and light to enable them to grow larger and fatter, so we fell the trees around them. At other times you might have a whole woodland of trees the same age – a plantation – where, like in a vegetable garden, you have sown or planted more trees that you need in order to later select the best and strongest to grow on to maturity. It might be that a tree is so damaged by grey squirrels, deer, weather or other factors that it is removed to give the remaining trees more light. Although, at other times, we deliberately leave dead trees standing as they provide a good home for birds, bats, bugs and fungi. In the past large herbivores such as elk, moose, bison, wild boar and aurochs – and their predators – would have made the woodland a dynamic environment, constantly changing and varying due to grazing, rooting, and digging. In the absence of these creatures the environment becomes static and things like ground flora decrease. By managing woodlands through coppicing or thinning we are providing change, increasing habitats and supporting woodland species.
For more information here is our current leaflet explaining KTAT KTAT Promotional Leaflet
Our current programme
We go out to local woodlands one day a week, usually alternating between Thursdays and Sundays, and volunteers choose how much of the day to stay for. Volunteers work at their own pace and KTAT provides all the tools and training needed. So come and learn new skills while helping local wildlife. For more information on the workdays, and to find out how to join in, please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01547 520374.
Trees need to be planted, coppiced (cut back almost to ground level then re-grown) or felled when they are dormant. We also need to be careful not to disturb nesting birds. For these reasons, most woodland work is carried out in autumn and winter. Summer is a time of clearing up from our winter work, keeping newly planted trees free from weeds and cutting cordwood (4 foot long pieces of wood) into logs. Summer is also a time for training – in summer 2018 we ran a training course on Preventing, Identifying and Reporting Tree Diseases, in association with the Forestry Commission. In 2017 we worked with the Woodland Trust to provide training on ‘Identifying Ancient Woodland Indicator Species’ and ‘Tree Identification and Introduction to Basic Woodland Management Techniques’.
This is a pdf of our October to December 2019 task programme, KTAT Task Programme Oct-Dec 2019 for website, which is also listed below:
At this time of the year we are concentrating solely on harvesting one coupe (i.e. one area) of Castle Ring wood through coppicing hazel and thinning birch trees (i.e. reducing their number). By coppicing hazel trees we harvest a crop of wood products and encourage trees to vigorously re-grow from the remaining stool – ready for future harvests. By coppicing a different part of the woodland each year we will be increasing the variety of habitats and allowing more light to the woodland floor in the areas that we cut. We are also thinning birch trees to favour the hazel coppice and the other trees in the wood – oak, rowan, beech, willow and ash.
Sunday 20th October – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Thursday 24th October – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Sunday 3rd November – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Thursday 7th November – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Saturday 9th November – 9.30am to 2.30pm. Introduction to Woodland Management Training Course, Day 1, Knighton. This 3-day introductory course is for those who would like to know more about the management of small woodlands and growing woodland products such as firewood. It offers both a classroom-based introduction to woodland management (Day 1) and woodland-based practical training in safely using hand-tools for woodland management (Days 2 & 3). You can attend Day 1 only (£33), Days 2 & 3 only (£66), or all 3 Days (£99). No previous experience necessary. For more details please see tveg.org.uk or email email@example.com , telephone 01547 520374.
Saturday 16th November – 9.30am to 2.30pm. Introduction to Woodland Management Training Course, Day 2, Beggar’s Bush. See Saturday 9th November for details.
Sunday 17th November – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Thursday 21st November – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. We will be cutting back brambles that are trying to swamp some young trees we have planted.
Saturday 23rd November – 9.30am to 2.30pm. Introduction to Woodland Management Training Course, Day 3, Beggar’s Bush. See Saturday 9th November for details.
Sunday 1st December – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Thursday 5th December – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Sunday 15th December – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
Thursday 19th December – 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm. Coppicing hazel and thinning birch. The cut wood will be extracted from the woodland and stacked for seasoning.
KTAT will resume in 2020 on Sunday 5th January.
Please note that these dates are subject to change and that factors such as bad weather can prevent task days from going ahead. We also sometimes need to adjust the programme to meet the requirements of volunteers and woodland owners.
For more information on the task days, and to find out how to join in, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01547 520374
Ways to get involved…
We are always looking for people who would like to learn about woodland management and ecology. Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded people. You can get plenty of fresh air and exercise while learning new skills. We need help with hands-on woodland management such as tree planting and firewood processing, regular flora and fauna surveys and administrative tasks. If you would like to register as a volunteer please use the form below – we have provided Microsoft Word and pdf formats so please use whichever is easiest for you. Once you have registered as a volunteer you will receive regular emails about forthcoming workdays and other KTAT events. KTAT Volunteer Registration Form (MS Word) KTAT Volunteer Registration Form (pdf)
You could also join KTAT as a Member. When you become a member you get a say in how the Trust is run; you can help decide the policies that guide how we operate. You’ll also become part of an active community of like-minded people who are working towards sustainable development. And that’s not all. You can attend members’ meetings, such as our AGM, where you can raise issues that are important to you and find out more about how the Trust is doing. Plus, you can vote for someone to represent your views as a Trustee. And if you fancy it, you can even stand for election yourself as a Trustee – it’s a great chance to represent your fellow members. Membership costs just £10 a year. If you would like to register as a member please use the form below – we have provided Microsoft Word and pdf formats so please use whichever is easiest for you. KTAT Membership Form (MS Word) KTAT Membership Form (pdf)
More about Knighton Tree Allotments Trust
To find out more about our local woodland activities take a look at our annual newsletter, produced in the Spring of each year. The latest (2019) Newsletter can be found here: KTAT Newsletter 2019
We also have the previous annual newsletters that will let you know how we have grown and changed as an organisation over the years:
There are a number of other documents of interest that we have had a role in producing:
We currently have Five Trustees who have taken on various responsibilities: Camilla Saunders, Jamie Ritchie, Annie England(Secretary), Robert Todd and Kate Mclean.
We are always keen to hear from people who have relevant skills and experience that they would like to offer KTAT, perhaps by becoming a Trustee. If you feel that you can help us in the sustainable management of local woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members, please contact the Company Secretary, Annie England on 01547 428368 or email email@example.com
Each year we hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) where Members, Trustees and Volunteers come together to find out how the Trust is doing and to decide on our next steps. Members of KTAT vote for the Trustees who make the day-to-day decisions on behalf of the Members. Our AGM for 2019 was held on Monday 24th June 2019 at Knighton Community Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here: KTAT Annual Report June 2019.
To find out what was discussed and decided at previous meetings please follow the links below.
Our AGM for 2018 was held on Thursday 17th May 2018 at Knighton Community Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here Annual Report for 2018.
Our AGM for 2017 was held on Thursday 11th May 2017 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here: 2017 Annual Report and Accounts.
Our AGM for 2016 was held on Thursday 5th May 2016 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.
Our AGM for 2015 was held on Thursday 16th April 2015 at Knighton Community Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.
Our AGM for 2014 was held on Tuesday 25th March 2014 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30pm and a report can be found here.
Our AGM for 2013 was held on Thursday 25th April 2013 at the Offa’s Dyke Centre at 7.30 p.m. and a report can be found here.
Knighton Tree Allotments Trust has the following aims and objectives:-
The objects for which the Trust is established are for the benefit of the public in and around Knighton and the Teme Valley, including the members of the Trust, so that they can plant and maintain woodlands to provide themselves with affordable access to firewood, fruit, nuts and other woodland products in a sustainable manner by:-
1. setting up a Model Tree Allotment where skills can be learnt and shared and where trees are planted wherever appropriate to produce a sustainable supply of woodland products, including firewood, fruit, nuts, and timber whilst encouraging biodiversity. The distribution of the woodland products from this Model Tree Allotment will go to all those directly involved in working and managing the Model Tree Allotment including those who are also Trustees or members of the Trust;
2. acquiring and providing affordable use of land for local people to grow their own firewood and woodland products by the setting up of Tree Allotments;
3. promoting education, skill-sharing and knowledge of woodland management, sustainable eco-systems, biodiversity, and related scientific and artistic endeavour;
4. managing all lands held by the Trust in a sustainable fashion, so as to enhance the diversity, productivity and beauty of the environment, in accordance with organic principles, for the benefit and happiness of present and future generations;
5. encouraging participation in all of the above activities of the Trust by the general public and specific interest groups of all ages, abilities and backgrounds;
6. acquiring lands whether freehold or leasehold, with or without buildings and fixtures, and of a character, size and location to be decided by the Trustees.
Please click on the link below for more information. Knighton Tree Allotments Trust – Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Looking after Wildlife
Our aim is to “manage woodlands for the benefit of woldlife and our members”. But how do we know that we are achieving this? We carry out regular flora and fauna surveys, the results of which can be found here.
Photographs of some of the activities you can be part of by volunteering.