MLWW invited applications from participant groups for study visits to UK-based woodland social enterprises. These offered a fantastic opportunity to MLWW groups to learn more about other groups, their business models, woodland management activities and community engagement, along with other, more specific aspects of their services and delivery.
Study visit programme information
Study visits involved one or more MLWW participant groups spending a day hosted by a woodland social enterprise (the host organisation did not necessarily have to be a MLWW group).
MLWW paid a hosting fee to the host organisation and helped subsidise all, or part of, the travel costs of the visiting groups. We encouraged visiting groups to share their plans and promote study visits to other groups - this amplified the learning and networking opportunities of collaborative working.
Applying for a study visit - what was the process?
Under the programme, any groups who wished to undertake a visit were encouraged to email email@example.com, identifying the host organisation you would like to visit and the reasons why it would be helpful. The group set the scene and told us what they hoped to learn from the day and how it would help to develop your woodland social enterprise. We encourage groups to make initial contact to confirm hosts groups would like to receive a visit.
Then, once their application had been approved the woodland group would arrange the study visit directly with the host and inform MLWW of plans to allow us to share the information and encourage other groups to attend.
Following a visit, the visiting groups were able to submit an invoice for travel expenses - these were usually accepted up to £150 per group, although had to be confirmed with MLWW prior to booking!
Visiting groups were asked to submit a short summary of their study visit after the event, to help impart shared experiences and knowledge acquisition back to other groups across the sector.
Information for host organisations
MLWW was able to pay host organisations for preparation and staff time - this was typically between £200 to £300 (inclusive of any VAT). Once agreed, we asked that the host organisations make arrangements directly with visiting groups, and inform MLWW of the agreed date and itinerary.
If you are interested in being put in contact with any of the projects, case studies or study visits that you have read about in the context of the MLWW programme, please do email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAST STUDY VISITS
Previous study visits have been very successful. In August, MLWW enabled The Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust to visit the national tree nursery facility at Beinn Eighe to inform their processes around the fulfilment of their LTFP obligations. We have also facilitated a two-day trip to various Scottish woodlands and woodland social enterprises for a team from Garvagh Development Trust. We also supported Vert Woods Community Woodlands to spend a day with Elwy Working Woods learning about their sawmilling operations and adding value to wood products. You can read more about their visit here.