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
Introduction to Woodland Management Training
Knighton Tree Allotments Trust offered this training course to those who would like to know more about the management of small woodlands and sustainable woodland products such as firewood.
The training ran over 3 Saturdays in January 2019 in and around Clun and was very successful.
Day 1 of the training was classroom based and introduced 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 were focussed on practical training in how to select trees for felling, how to safely cut small trees using hand tools, how to extract and season wood and how to process wood into logs.
If you are interested in attending this type of training in future, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01547 520374
This training was provided by Knighton Tree Allotments Trust and was partly funded by the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Conservation Fund.
New Task 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 January to March 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 Jan – Mar 2019.
Preventing, Identifying and Reporting Tree Diseases
KTAT organised a free training session on Preventing, Identifying and Reporting Tree Diseases by Barnaby Wilder of the Forestry Commission. There is widespread concern about the spread of diseases such as ash dieback and Phytophora ramorum so we asked the Forestry Commission to come and advise our volunteers and the general public on what we can actually do. The training took place at Knighton Community Centre on Wednesday 11th July and was well attended. Watch this space for future training opportunities.
Generous Donation from Nisa
KTAT is delighted to have received a further donation of £2,345 from Nisa’s Make a Difference Locally scheme via the Knighton Tuffins store (now part of the mid-counties Co-operative). This kind of support for our work allows us to continue to offer volunteering and training opportunities to local residents and to benefit the wildlife in our local woodlands. Thank you Nisa!
Stop Press! The 2018 KTAT annual newsletter now here!
Read all about what KTAT has been doing from Spring 2017 to Spring 2018.
KTAT would like to say a big “thank you” to 3 companies and local shoppers for their support of our work. We have just received a donation of £350 from the Make A Difference Locally scheme run by Nisa grocery stores. Bucknell-based Hornsea Steels has kindly donated materials to repair the roof of our wind-damaged tool shed. 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.
We are currently working in three woodlands: at the Samatha Trust in Llangunllo, at Castlering Wood in Beggar’s Bush and at Skyborry, near Knighton.
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 email@example.com 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 January to March 2019 task programme, which is listed below: KTAT Task Programme Jan – Mar 2019
At this time of the year we are concentrating solely on harvesting one coupe (i.e. one area) of a woodland 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.
All of the following task days are going to be spent on coppicing and thinning and extracting the woodland products. All task days will run from 9.30am to approximately 2.30pm.
Sunday 6th January
Thursday 10th January
Sunday 20th January
Thursday 24th January
Sunday 3rd February
Thursday 7th February
Sunday 17th February
Thursday 21st February
Sunday 3rd March
Thursday 7th March
Sunday 17th March
Thursday 21st March
Sunday 31st March
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 (2018) Newsletter can be found here: Newsletter April 2018
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 recognise the local need to provide wood for fuel and other woodland products, whilst maintaining healthy vibrant woodlands for wildlife and ensuring biodiversity for future generations. We aim to provide the woodlands our community needs for a sustainable future and are now looking for land and woodlands to lease or manage, preferably within a 9 mile radius of Knighton, though we will consider further afield.
Please contact email@example.com or tel. 01547 520374 if you have any land that might be suitable.
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, Angie Zelter on 01547 520929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
To find out what was discussed and decided at previous meetings please follow the links below.
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.