How Gimswood came to be

Initially I wanted to own a wood. Maybe it is something I have always wanted because I so enjoyed the beech woods of the South Downs in my youth, when as a family we would spend every feasible summer Sunday somewhere in the countryside. There are not too many mature woodlands for sale, so this was an ambition I only held at a deep level. There was also the matter of money!

After much debate, looking round at local woodlands (so few here on the Midlands Feldon anyway), even vaguely considering Scotland, I had an idea about buying farmland locally and growing my own forest. Either the land seemed too expensive or too big to consider or too far from home. But then some fields came up for sale only a mile away!

On viewing in April 2002 I noted that the pastures looked quite uninteresting, so my excitement arose again about covering the county in trees. I had joked for years about how, if I owned a whole county, I would turn out the people and convert it all to forest. Here was my chance on a small scale. So my plan was to cover the whole area in trees.

Then the flower-rich hay meadow emerged in June to my surprise. Mmmm. Change of plan. Keep the meadow as it is and convert the rest to woodland. At the time it was mostly agricultural land with ley pasture and oats, so of limited interest to conservation.

The ultimate aim is for wildlife habitat, to give something back to Nature, to conserve ecologically and to pass the whole package down the family generations. If at any time they are uninterested it is to be given to a suitable Trust to care for, such as the Woodland Trust. Like the Red Indians and the Aborigines, I am only a steward of the land, I do not really own it. I want to pass it on to the future in a good state.