Community Woodland Association Annual Conference & AGM

CWA annual conference and AGM
Friday 30 September 2022 - 13:00 to Saturday 1 October 2022 - 17:00

Birnam Arts

Station Road



Community Woodland Association

A limited number of early bird tickets are now on sale for the 2022 CWA annual conference and AGM on Friday 30 September & Saturday 1 October.

There is support available towards travel & subsistence costs for delegates attending from the HIE area. Please get in touch with Jo ( to find out more.


Friday 30 September

1.00 Registration & buffet lunch at Birnam Arts

2.00 Welcome address by Anna Lawrence, CWA Chair

2.10 Opening Session

Communities connect with land as owners, partners, managers, and as consultees in terms of how local forests and woodlands are used. The Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform, Mairi McAllan, will reflect on the future role and potential for Scotland's community woodlands; Douglas Worrall will sketch out how communities can be supported and resourced in the Central Belt, and West Stormont Woodland Group will describe their journey towards community ownership.

3.30 Comfort break / tea & coffee

3.50 Workshops

Finding money and using it responsibly are key considerations for communities involved in managing woodlands. Three workshops will run in parallel - exploring how communities can understand and engage with new types of finance such as natural capital; how to approach fund raising and to build long term relationships with funders; and how to act responsibly and transparently in respect of land, money and governance.

(1) Natural capital markets: opportunities and pitfalls for community groups;

(2) Good governance & trustee responsibilities;

(3)Grant writing for community woodlands

5.00 Comfort break / tea & coffee

5.20 CWA AGM

6.30 Conference Dinner & Ceilidh dancing/music by Karys Watt & band


Saturday 1 October

9.30 Day 2 registration

10.00 Welcome

10.05 Presentations from community woodland groups

Sharing experiences with and learning lessons from others are key aspects of a membership organisation. In this session, speakers from diverse community woodland groups describe some of their experiences with newly purchased land, planning woodland buildings, developing woodland crofts and managing a community orchard. We will hear from Inchinnan Development Trust; Glengarry Community Woodlands; Carsphairn Community Woodlands and Dunkeld & Birnam Community Orchard.

11.30 Comfort break / tea & coffee

11.50 Plenary session on partnership working & community wealth building

Community wealth is a hot topic amongst policy makers and Government departments. In this session we explore what it is, how can communities benefit and new ways of looking at woodlands and forests as a tourist resource. We are joined by speakers from Community Enterprise, SCOTO and Knoydart Forest Trust.

1.00 Buffet lunch

2.00 Site visits – option to visit one of three local community woodlands (return transport provided to Dronley & AHUG.)

1. Alyth Hill Users Group (AHUG)

The Alyth Hill Group was formed in March 2008 with the objectives of protecting and conserving Alyth Hill, encouraging and improving reasonable access to rural leisure pursuits, and to encourage use of the area for educational purposes. The area managed by FLS is 34 acres and a small segment of this is leased to the Alyth Hill Group.The bike track was established in 2014, and has 3 sections with varying levels of difficulty. The orchard was established in 2012 and has around 150 trees with at least 20 different varieties of apple. The trees include plum, walnut, hazel, cherry, pear and there is also soft fruit. There is a natural bee hive and a temporary shelter for events. The site also includes an experimental area planted by FLS with willow, aspen, eucalyptus and others in an unleased area of the hill. The community woodland has picnic benches, a totem pole, and a foraging area. Find out more here

2. Dronley Community Woodland

Dronley Wood, near Dundee became a Community Woodland in 2019. Dronley Wood is very popular with over 20,000 woodland visits per year. The group’s vision is to develop Dronley Wood towards a multipurpose woodland that will create a long-lasting legacy for future generations. The community woodland offers volunteering opportunities, courses, and school involvement. The group aims to establish a strong connection with the local community by building on tradition and natural heritage to promote social and environmental change as well as health and well-being. Dronley Community Woodland is committed to offering training, research, cooperation, education, and local employment opportunities. Find out more at

3. Dùn Coillich (Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust)

HPCLT is a local community charity whose objectives are to hold and manage land on behalf of the communities of Highland Perthshire, to facilitate access to the land, to provide environmental education opportunities to young and old and to connect young people with opportunities for skills training. It owns two portions of land, one at Glengoulandie, comprising 400 hectares of hill land, the other is approximately one hectare of green space within Aberfeldy, called the Wee Birks Field. The Trust employs full time staff in managing an expanded training, volunteering and education programme - the Positive Destinations programme. HPCLT provides training, volunteering and education opportunities, managed by its Project Officer and Assistant PO and has established a formal partnership with Breadalbane Academy to take school pupils on our Rural Skills courses and to offer environmental education to secondary pupils through day visits. HPCLT’s work with trainees has led to an increased demand for its services which is a reflection of the high-quality experience that young people are receiving through its training courses and an increased desire for outdoor working. This demand is mirrored in volunteering, as HPCLT has a core group of volunteers who turn up on Tuesday volunteer days and weekend volunteering. The Trust has close links with local primary schools and arrange site visits for pupils to do tree planting, pond dipping and bug hunting. Find out more at


The conference will incorporate the CWA Annual General Meeting: AGM papers, including Director nomination and proxy voting forms, which will be sent to groups in August. If your group has not received these papers by the end of August, or if you have any questions about any aspect of the conference please contact Jo Rodgers