A brief history of Hill Holt Wood
Hill Holt Wood was purchased by Nigel and Karen Lowthrop in 1995. It was in poor condition with invasive rhododendron, a damaged drainage system and the majority of the quality timber removed by the previous owners. Nigel and Karen had a vision for the woodland, and in 1997 the Hill Holt Wood Management Committee was established as a link between the owners and the surrounding community. Initially representing four parishes this developed over the following five years to eleven parishes with a population totalling in excess if 10,000. In 2002 the Volunteer Board of Directors took control and Hill Holt Wood, the social enterprise was born.
HHW has become increasingly well known at both a regional and national level due to effective networking and partnership working, as well as word of mouth. There is a growing awareness amongst environmental and educational professionals that this type of project crosses a range of government policy areas. The role of social enterprises in rural development and rural diversification is becoming an issue of increasing interest. The government sees social enterprises as a way of providing public goods. Hill Holt Wood started life over 300 years ago. Now, in the 21st Century, Hill Holt Wood is a thriving community project with visitors from all over Europe.