Woodland Heritage Governance

Woodland Heritage is both a registered charity (1041611) and a company limited by guarantee (02938997), so the Trustees of the charity are also directors of the company.

The Trustees normally meet on a quarterly basis, but have delegated some of their functions in-between meetings to a variety of committees covering areas of operations such as communications, membership, events, HR, finance and grants.  Much of the day-to-day work of the charity is delegated to the staff to undertake, led by the Chief Executive.

Woodland Heritage is also the holding company for its wholly-owned trading subsidiary, W H Timber Limited, which runs Whitney Sawmills.  The directors of W H Timber Limited generally meet quarterly, with some of those directors also Trustees of the charity.

As a membership organisation, Woodland Heritage has an Annual General Meeting to which all of its members are invited.  The AGM is held during the charity’s annual Field Weekend (normally in June) and according to the rules laid down in the charity’s Articles of Association.

The Trustees are responsible for Woodland Heritage’s long-term strategy and for making sure that the charity is run according to rules, regulations and guidance provided by the Charity Commission and other regulators.

In addition to external regulations, the Trustees of Woodland Heritage have created a small number of bye-laws and policies to help run its business, to be transparent and to follow best practice.  The bye-laws and some of the policies appear on this website with others appearing in the annual report and accounts, the most recent copies of which can also be found on this website; a small number of other policies exist that can be obtained by e-mailing office@woodlandheritage.org.

An example of best practice is for a charity to disclose whether it carries out any cash collections, whether in the street, house-to-house or at third-party locations, so that donors can feel confident that any cash handed over is to a legitimate cause.  Other than having a single collection box at events that it runs, or on a stand that it takes at events run by others, Woodland Heritage does not undertake any other cash collections.


Trustees Reports / Accounts

Bye Laws



The charity’s Articles make no provision for the creation of any posts that might be held by honorary officers and it is under no duty to maintain roles such as Treasurer, Secretary or Chairman, the latter role only being specified as required to enable the business of meetings of members and the trustees to proceed with clear rules laid out as to how a Chairman is to be elected meeting-by-meeting. In dealings with members and external parties, however, the ability to convey the specific role of one or more trustees may be deemed beneficial and so the board of trustees reserve the right to create positions for honorary officers and to appoint one of their number to such role or roles and to then review those posts and appointments on a regular basis.

Bye-law #1
management fees on gifts

The board of trustees reserve the right to allocate up to 10% of any gift received in support of a specific project or purpose (a ‘restricted’ donation) towards the general costs of administering and managing the work required to enable the donor’s wishes to be fulfilled; where a gift is made without any specification as to how the money is to be spent (an ‘unrestricted’ donation) then up to 100% of the gift could be spent on ensuring that the charity has the ability to administer and manage its affairs to meet regulatory and supporters’ expectations. In order to ensure that as much money as possible can be spent on fulfilling the aims of the charity, management and administration costs are kept to a minimum and are reviewed and challenged on a regular basis by trustees.

Policy for Giving Grants

General principle

All work for which support is sought from Woodland Heritage must help fulfil the Charity’s Objects, appropriate extracts from which appear below (with indented paragraphs numbered purely for ease when completing an application form):

(1)    For the public benefit, the protection, conservation, management and enhancement of woodland and timber resources in the United Kingdom and the promotion and advancement of sustainable wood supply in the United Kingdom, in particular but not exclusively by:

(i)      helping people and organisations from all backgrounds to conserve, grow and maintain better quality trees and woodland areas via the provision of advice and financial support, thereby securing environmental, economic and social benefits from their endeavours;

(ii)    acting as a resource body for connecting the growers and users of high quality timber;

(iii)   raising the awareness by the general public of the value of craftsmanship in wood;

(2)    For the public benefit, the promotion and advancement of education of the public in general and particularly amongst other charities, voluntary bodies and organisations with an active interest in forestry on the subjects of the value of well-managed woodlands and high quality timber and on the threats facing woodland and timber resources in the United Kingdom, in particular but not exclusively by:

(i)                  the provision of or the facilitation of access to skills and training within the forestry and timber industries;

(ii)                the provision of information to the general public on the value of and threats facing well-managed woodlands and high quality timber;

(iii)               undertaking and supporting research into improving tree stock and controlling damage caused by pests, diseases and a changing climate, and disseminating the useful results of such research;

Refinements of the general principle

This grant-giving policy, whilst able to support all of the Charity’s Objects will, at the discretion of the Trustees of the Charity, respect the priorities of the current Business Plan to give certain themes greater weight than others and to help elicit specific requests over the period of the plan.  A copy of the current Business Plan is normally available to be viewed at www.woodlandheritage.org

Notwithstanding the priorities of a specific Business Plan, the Trustees will also consider the merits of achieving some form of balance between grant-giving in support of the different charitable Objects.  Demand might mean that some themes attract more bids than others so every other year, a review will consider what has been awarded over the past two years.  This review will reveal the trends that have emerged over that period and preceding ones and how grants are delivering the Charity’s Objects.  After due appraisal of these various factors, any need to adjust the natural balance of bids would then be considered, with suitable bids researched and sought.

Whilst it may well be beneficial to keep enduring schemes alive and regular beneficiaries supported, all giving will be reviewed as to effectiveness within the alternate-year review.

Priority will be given to supporting eligible proposals submitted by members of Woodland Heritage.

Woodland Heritage, December 2017

Become a Member

Join Woodland Heritage today and you’ll be supporting a British charity devoted to creating a UK more self-sufficient in timber grown in healthy, well-managed woodlands which benefit people and wildlife.

If you appreciate materials and products sourced from well managed woodlands, and if you believe in supporting the next generation’s rise to meet the challenges they face, then we’re the charity to join!

“Woodland Heritage is one of the few organisations that really understands young people in forestry and helps nurture their talents.”

Ted Wilson, Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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