Democracy, Community and Our Community Benefit Society (CBS)

We have created a social enterprise called a Community Benefit Society (CBS), which applies commercial strategies to maximise community and environmental benefits. This short video explains our governance approach.

We received excellent help from the Plunkett Foundation’s ‘Make Local Woodlands Work’ programme, which offered us critical support in deciding on a suitable legal framework for the project.

Signing CBS v1
Signing the CBS documentation

We decided to become a Community Benefit Society (CBS) because it is the most democratic option for a project like this. Anyone can become a member as long as they buy one £50 share. Each member gets one vote, so no one person can ever dominate the decision-making process.

Initial Members Shares were offered in Autumn 2018. We currently have around 50 Members and hold an Annual Members Meeting each autumn.

Whole group with hail VLowRes v1
Visioning Day – Photograph by Jules Bristow