Background to the Woodland Skills Centre

The Woodland Skills Centre was set up by Rod Waterfield nearly 30 years ago. It was transferred in 2010 to Warren Woods Ltd, a community-owned, not-for-profit Social Enterprise Company.


The Centre has the use of 50 acres of land which belongs to the Waterfield Family Trust. This arrangement gives Warren Woods Ltd / Woodland Skills Centre the use of the land indefinitely as long as it used for social, educational, community and environmental benefit. Warren Woods Ltd owns 2 buildings on the site and pays a nominal rent for the land they are on. The rest of the land which the Centre can use includes woodland, permanent Forest School sites, workshops, polytunnels, allotment, orchards, car park etc.


Woodland Skills Centre pays the Family Trust a set fee, currently £25, for each activity day they use the site. So, if there is one group in, then the fee is £25. If there are 2 groups then it is £50. This means that the Centre is not exposed to financial risk. It is only charged once an activity has been booked with sufficient guaranteed income.


The Family Trust is responsible for all the core costs of the site – rates, utilities, insurance, buildings maintenance and repair, office (phone, wifi, IT support, CCTV), management of the site and woodland.


There is general agreement that Rod Waterfield needs to pass on the management of the Centre to someone else, allowing him to concentrate on managing the land on behalf of the Family Trust and, therefore, the Board of Warren Woods Ltd has decided to advertise a new post as Centre Manager.


There is already a team of self-employed, part-time tutors who work for the Centre but the new Manager post will be the first full-time, salaried post the Company has created.


The Centre is in a strong financial position. It is not reliant on short-term funding but meets all its costs from the income from the courses and programmes it delivers.



Centre Manager