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Restoring the link between people and woodlands

Social Forestry OCN Course

2019 Course Dates:

Social Forestry OCN – Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys

This course explores the use of woodlands to promote social and human wellbeing, and offers you the tools to start applying Social Forestry ideas in practice. The course will give you an understanding of the theories and evidence underlying Social Forestry whilst gaining practical hands-on experience suitable for use with different client groups. It will be delivered within a woodland setting, using a range of learning methods, to build on your existing skills and develop new ones.

The course will include:
• how woodlands promote human wellbeing
• managing group activities and individuals’ needs
• methods for observing changes in human wellbeing
• mindfulness in a woodland setting
• identifying and working in different woodland types
• practical woodland management
• setting up a woodland camp
• woodland crafts and activities

You’ll also have the option to accredit your learning to Level 3 with the Open College Network if you complete the additional coursework. The Level 3 OCN fee is included in the course.

The learning outcomes can be downloaded here: Social Forestry L3 CV3

Course outline:

Day 1: General Introductory Day:
AM: Introduction to Social Forestry.
PM: Looking at different woodland management systems.

Day 2: Human and Woodland Health and Wellbeing:
AM Understanding the principles of human health and social wellbeing.
PM Observing and assessing woodland wellbeing and undertaking woodland management activity.

DAY 3: Social Forestry in Practice:
AM Learning about the practicalities of managing Social Forestry activites.
PM Putting Social Forestry activities into practice.

DAY 4: Legal Obligations for Social Forestry and Preparation for the Written OCN Portfolio


Course Participant Feedback:

“Deepened my learning about wellbeing and social forestry”

“A really good mixture of theory, practical and discussion led workshops”.

“Fantastic, relaxed, informal, social setting. Was made very at ease learning with the others on the course”.

“Highlights for me were mindfulness, woodland work (management and crafts), understanding what social forestry is and spending time with great people”.

“It was very helpful meeting and hearing from a range of perspectives – from woodland owners, practitioners…”

“A good, informal training style which enabled me to feel more confident about what I already know”.

“Excellent. Very clear connections between info given and relevant assessment criteria. I feel very well prepared to write up the coursework”.

Things you need to know:

Due to the nature of this course some practical work will be done outside. We strongly advise you to bring waterproof clothing and steel toe-cap boots are mandatory. You must be over the age of 18 years when this course starts.

This introductory course should leave learners with a clear idea of the scope of this field of work, where they want to take it, and what that might involve (including further learning).


The course costs vary a little depending on the provider, At the Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth Powys – the all inclusive cost is £650, to include meals and hostel style or camping accommodation.

At the Woodland Skills Centre there are variable costs:

  1. for the course with a mid-day meal each day or
  2. for the course, including camping pitch, all meals and use of the Centre in the evenings – fully equipped kitchen, WC, shower, heated meeting room.

Subsidies may be available – contact amieandrews@smallwoods.org.uk to discuss eligibility.


Social Forestry OCN course general info no dates_bilingual flyer P3Social Forestry OCN course general info no dates_bilingual flyer P4

Social Forestry OCN course general info no dates_bilingual flyer P1Social Forestry OCN course general info no dates_bilingual flyer P2

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