Buying a Wood

All of the woodlands on this website are owned by Wildlife Woodlands Ltd, and the purchase price is shown in the details. In addition you will have to pay your own legal costs which you should agree with your own lawyer/conveyancer. Some solicitors may consider buying woodland rather “small beer” and may require a prod from time to time. Most sales are completed within about two months.

The buying process is as follows:

If you have decided to buy a wood, let us know and send us the address of your lawyer.  As soon as you have agreed to buy the wood we will take it off the website and accept no more offers.  We will then send a letter to your lawyer to confirm the sale and to let them know the name and address of our own lawyer.

You will then have to send to your lawyer:

  • The name(s) of those you wish to own the woodland
  • Any questions you might have regarding titles or rights which you would like your lawyer to check. He /she will check all the standard things like boundaries, drains, telephone or electricity cables, rights of access etc. but now is the time to ask. (Try us first as we will try and answer as many questions as we can for free!)
  • 10% of the purchase price to be available for a deposit.  However, many purchasers exchange and complete on the same day, paying the full amount in one go.  Generally buying a wood follows the same process as buying a home, but there are no complications with chains or completion dates.

Meanwhile our lawyer will send your lawyer a draft contract and a copy of the Land Registry title for the woodland.  Your Lawyer will then send to our lawyer a standard set of pre-contract enquiries and any additional outstanding queries. We will return this as soon as possible.  Please bear in mind that woodlands sometimes have slightly hazy boundaries, with streams changing course, boundary fences not quite matching the Land Registry title; fencing contractors take the best route, usually, but not always slightly into the property of the neighbour.  Some other common questions:

  • Are there any fencing obligations or liabilities?  Generally no, as it is a farmer’s responsibility to keep stock in on their own land.  However, some old Forestry Commission woods do have a fencing obligation.
  • Who owns the sporting rights, and are they exercised?
  • If a property is leasehold, how long is the lease, and what are the annual payments?  Wildlife Woodlands generally only deals in freehold woods, or those with very long leases (999 years, with at least 900 to run).  A lease of less than 100 years is only one generation of trees, and quite short term if you are dealing with trees with a 250 year life expectancy.
  • Are there any statutory designations that may affect future management, for example a Site of Special Scientific Interest, or a Tree Preservation Order?

Once questions have been raised and dealt with to everyone’s satisfaction, your lawyer sends you a contract with a plan showing boundaries and rights of way. You will need to sign and return this. We will do the same with our own copy.  We then agree exchange and completion dates, which can be on separate days, or rolled into one.  If separate you will need to provide a 10% deposit on exchange and the remaining 90% for the completion date.  On the completion date, your lawyer transfers the balance of the money, and the woodland is yours.

A copy of the Land Registry Certificate will be sent to your lawyer who will either send it on to you or keep it on your behalf.  We each then have to pay our lawyers for all the above.

Congratulations you now own your own woodland. While we are dealing with technical details, you may wish to look at further information on woodland taxation.

Please note that if the sale is delayed beyond a reasonable length of time we reserve the right to return the woodland to the market.

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