The Woods

Craft Wood is based at the heart of a 12 hectare woodland. Here Craft Wood has a simple base.

The woodland is a mixed conifer/ deciduous planting with a degree of natural regeneration – particularly ash,birch,holly, sycamore and a developing under-story of beech. The main planting is made up of lodge pole pines. The woodland contains several flat areas; overall the site is gently sloping and sheltered in the lee side of the river Amber valley (on the hillside up to Crich) from the predominant south westerly winds. There are seasonal wet areas which have an increasingly important role in slowing down the water cycle. There is a stream (Boggy Brook) that runs along a boundary edge.

The woods contain a valuable open grass habitat that in summer is a haven for butterflies, day time moths and dragon flies. There are pair of mating buzzards, long-tailed tits, robins, tree creepers – an occasional hooting owl. Others creatures seen include rabbits, frogs, toads, wood mice, shrews, bats, weasels, willow warblers and jays. Foxes, wild orchids and deer have also been spotted.

The woodland is planted on reclaimed land and is working case case study in re-wilding – nature’s ability to regenerate. The site was quarried for ganister rock, used to line kilns – around the 1950’s – it was then taken on by Derbyshire County Council and subsequently in-filled and planted as a woodland – and left to it. It has turned into something of a sanctuary.

The aim is to manage the woodland as a therapeutic and creative project developing positive opportunities for livelihoods and employment – and to develop the social enterprise as a hub to get people active and engaged in co-creating an adventurous, diverse and accessible living forest.