Recently our Director for Forestry, Paul Orsi, visited Argyll to find out how the myForest service will be helping an innovative group of woodlands owners.
Whilst many of the large conifer forests in the area are being managed as part of a crop rotation there are many smaller woodlands, often part of mixed farms and estates, which are not being managed because costs can be prohibitive. The Argyll Small Woodlands Co-operative (ASWC) are looking to pool the combined resources of these small woodlands to make it economically viable to get these woods into active management.
Pooling of resources can only start once there is good knowledge about the resource itself. Neil Donaldson Secretary of the ASWC contacted Sylva in Spring 2015 to see if myForest could help them to collate information across land ownerships. The existing myForest service worked in a way that allows individual owners to map, store information and create a management plan for their woodlands, so we were keen to explore how we could add more functionality to the web service to support co-operation between owners.
The existing Agent account allows managers with multiple clients to store individual client accounts but not pool that information. Thanks to the relationship built up with Neil Donaldson and ASWC, we are now developing a tool that
will allow the ASWC to query woodland information across members of the co-operative and therefore allow them to assess opportunities for collaborative woodland management.
ASWC will pilot this functionality on myForest over the next year with the plan for it to be released to other groups soon after. If you run a similar co-operative, or would like to, please get in touch so that we can start discussing how we could support you in future. Watch out on our blog and newsletters as we follow this fascinating story over the next year.
Our thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland for funding this innovative project.