We are proud to present the first business plan and associated documents for Raincliffe Wood Community Enterprise (RWCE), a social enterprise owned and run by the local community that hopes to take on the management of Raincliffe Woods, Forge Valley and Row Brow Woods for at least the next 100 years. Raincliffe Woods is a huge area of woodland (222 Hectares) starting right at the edge of urban Scarborough town and running out into the countryside and North York Moors National Park.
The woods are a valuable habitat for wildlife, an important landscape feature and a popular recreational asset for local people and tourists.The whole site is planted ancient woodland and parts are of such great value that they are designated National Nature Reserve or Site of Special Scientific Interest. However, the woods have been neglected for many years with little significant management since the 1950s. Much of the site is now in a poor condition with decreasing wildlife value, decaying infrastructure and overcrowded conifer trees.
RWCE can reverse this decline and offer the woods a bright and sustainable future. The Enterprise will put this invaluable local asset into the safekeeping of local people, supported with the expert advice and assistance of partner organisations such as the Woodland Trust. The woods will be managed sensitively by people who care and in time the Enterprise will grow into a strong and independent business that can guarantee the woods will be free for everyone to enjoy for many generations to come.
The Enterprise will also offer innovative ideas and solutions to local problems – energy production from wood fuel, training, employment and on-site conversion of timber into products such as fencing, gates and possibly building materials. The management will be dynamic and imaginative with the objective of creating a forestry management and skills hub. RWCE does not seek to preserve the woodland as it is, but to introduce improvements in biodiversity, community involvement and enterprise for maximum local benefits.
The Business Plan is currently under review. The new plan will be published as soon as it is available.