Raincliffe community wood will be many things. It is a woodland open to the public every day.
It is a fresh way of working with the local community to create a better environment, provide employment training and a career building initiative.
It is also a business; a social enterprise that offers training in the form of apprenticeships, education and mentoring to create sustainable longterm management of the woods and a place accessible to all.
It will provide social, economic and sustainable return to boost biodiversity, recreation and your community.
Ownership and Governance
Raincliffe Wood Community Enterprise (RWCE) was established in April 2015 with a mandate from Scarborough Borough Council (the owners of the Woodland) to take over the management of this important landscape feature overlooking Scarborough which includes Forge Valley, Raincliffe and Row Brow Woods, all of which is either a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or a Protected Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) or both, and is situated within the North York Moors National Park. Its special qualities are therefore well protected. The woodland extends to 222 hectares (548.50 acres).
RWCE is a Not-for-Profit Company owned by its Members (stakeholders) and managed by a Board of Directors. Six of the Directors (comprising of a Board of up to 14 Members) are elected “Interested Members”. Membership is open to anyone in the local communities who support the objectives of RWCE, as set out in the Business Plan (2015-2020). RWCE is a Membership (ie. Community) owned Company with a Board comprising of at least six elected Members.
The Rules and Regulations, through which the RWCE operates are explained in the Articles of Association and other supporting Appendices.
Scarborough Borough Council chose RWCE to undertake the management of the woods, initially under a licence to manage the woodland and to organise events, and subsequently to be responsible for virtually the entire management by way of a 25 year lease.
The Board of RWCE have undertaken a significant task in managing a unique and precious part of our natural and cultural heritage. It is a privilege to care for an important landscape, but this brings with it great responsibilities, and to that end RWCE decided to partner the woodland management with the Woodland Trust, the pre-eminent woodland charity. The Woodland Trust are providing advice and management, which they have agreed to provide free of charge for an initial three years.
Objectives – wildlife, people, enterprise
- Gradually restore the woods to predominantly broadleaf planted ancient woodland
- Enhance the wildlife value and biodiversity of the woods
- Act as a model of best practice in sustainable woodland management for others to learn from
- Promote the woods and encourage their greater use and enjoyment
- Maintain and improve public access for all
- Increase community involvement in the management of the woods
- Educate people about woods and their environment
- Establish a social enterprise to generate income to support only the sustainable management of the woods and associated activities
- Carry out woodland management, timber extraction and conversion of timber to a variety of products to generate this income
- Support the wider economic regeneration of the Scarborough area through contributions to tourism, jobs and training
Historic handover confirmed for 220-hectare Scarborough wildlife hotspot
A 222 hectare (550 acres) area of woodland on the edge of Scarborough is set to undergo a transformation after its handover to local community ownership was confirmed today.
Raincliffe and Forge Valley Woods will be transferred from Scarborough Borough Council into management by the Raincliffe Wood Community Enterprise (RWCE), a social enterprise owned and run by members of the local community.
With support of organisations including the Woodland Trust and Groundwork the group will focus on the development of the site under three broad themes; Wildlife, People and Enterprise. Key activity will include its restoration to broadleaved woodland, the encouragement of greater public use and generating sustainable income from timber sales, employment, volunteering and other enterprises.