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Restoring the link between people and woodlands

Social Forestry OCN Course

2019 Course Dates:


These Social Forestry OCN Level 3 courses were developed by Small Woods and accredited by the Open College Network (OCN). Small Woods has over 20 years experience delivering woodland training with a reputation for high quality teaching and professionalism. Courses include woodland management, social forestry and green wood crafts:  www.smallwoods.org.uk. In Wales Actif Woods Wales is the thriving social forestry programme of Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales).

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

Four days – starts 9.30am and ends at 5pm on the last day

Learn the theory and practice of social forestry, looking at how sustainable woodland management and crafts can help promote human wellbeing. Covering working with groups and individuals as well as the practical aspects of managing different types of woodlands, this course is suitable for anyone with a personal interest in the subject as well as practitioners wishing to run social forestry activities at a professional level. The course is accredited via the Open College Network (OCN).

What you will learn:

The course will include:

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 course will equip participants to run social forestry activities at a professional level.

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

Course outline:

Day 1: General introductory day
Introduction to social forestry.
Looking at different woodland management systems.

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

Day 3: Social forestry in practice
Learning about the practicalities of managing social forestry activities.
Putting social forestry activities into practice.

Day 4: Legal obligations for social forestry and preparation for the written OCN portfolio

Meet your tutors

Your tutors for this course are Rob Goodsell and Julia Walling.

Rob has been working for CAT for eleven years. He is currently involved in managing four woodlands of differing natures using sustainable management principles, focusing on the relationship between conservation, resilience, human interaction and economic realities.

Julia is the creator of Woods for Wellbeing, a social enterprise that connects people with woods.

She designs and runs a wide variety of social forestry projects for partners such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Butterfly Conservation and the Forestry Commission.

Things you need to know:

What to bring: as this is a highly practical course, safety boots are required and waterproof clothing is recommended

Social Forestry OCN Level 3 – Woodland Skills Centre, Bodfari, Denbighshire


Social Forestry is now widely accepted by Health Care professionals as a valuable way to deal with many social issues and physical and mental health problems. Do you want to find out more and gain an accreditation that will prepare you to be involved in this rapidly expanding field? The level 3 OCN in Social Forestry is accredited by OCNWM and is one of the leading training programmes specialising on the benefits of woodlands to promote human wellbeing.

The Woodland Skills Centre has been involved since the start and we believe that we offer an outstanding course :

  • Led by tutors who have unrivalled experience in delivering the course and who are themselves Social Forestry practitioners.
  • Set in the heart of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-east Wales.
  • Delivered at the Woodland Skills Centre in their award-winning eco buildings set in the 50 acres of the Warren Woods – first place and gold medal winner for Community Woodlands – Royal Forestry Society in 2015 and Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 2016.
  • The Woodland Skills Centre has an extensive on-site Social Forestry programme with up to 10 groups a week and their experience and expertise is shared on the course.
  • Practical woodland management and craft sessions led by tutors from the Woodland Skills Centre who are all experienced Social Forestry practitioners.

The course explores the use of woodlands to promote social and human well-being, and equips you with the tools to apply Social Forestry ideas in practice. Suitable for social foresters, woodland owners/managers and health, well-being and social care professionals.

You will understand the theories and evidence underlying Social Forestry whilst gaining practical hands-on experience suitable for use with different client groups. The course is delivered within a woodland setting, using a range of learning methods to build on your existing skills and develop new ones. Your tutors are Rod Waterfield, manager of the WSC and Susan Collini.

It includes:

  • How woodlands promote human well being
  • Managing group activities and individual’s needs
  • Legal obligations and duty of care with client groups
  • Mindfulness practice
  • Identifying and working in different woodland types
  • Practical woodland management
  • woodland crafts and activities


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”.



The course costs vary depending on the provider:

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


Click on the links below to book:


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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