Can I build in the Woods? - “Fairy Control” Introduced After Tiny Doors Appear in Woodlands

Can I build in the Woods? -  “Fairy Control” Introduced After Tiny Doors Appear in Woodlands

It appears the law of the land does not apply to fairies, after 100 tiny fairy doors appeared in Wayford Woods in Crewkerne, Somerset.


The woods, locally known as the 'Fairy Woods', have been delighting and enchanting children as more and more fairies have apparently taken up residence there.

However, what these fairies are doing may be damaging to the woodland and a blatant flouting of human law. Hundreds of families have come to visit the fairy homes (tiny decorated doors attached to the bottom of trees) to leave messages and wishes with the fairies of Somerset. But, these human visitors may be damaging the woodland area leaving these paper messages, litter and footprints behind.

A group of volunteer trustees for the woodland have urged that no more doors be attached to the trees to avoid 'over decorating' of the woodland. Steve Acremen one of the trustees said:

"We're not anti-fairy. But we've got little doors everywhere. It's in danger of getting out of control."

It appears not everyone is entirely happy about the arrival of the fairies and what once was a small pixie hollow that could go unnoticed, is fast becoming a magical megacity, with more than 100 fairy homes and a fairy playground complete with 2ft slides and swings.

And when humans come to visit the mythical metropolis they are just too big and end up trampling the bluebells – according to another of the trustees.

However, what if a human wanted to live amongst the fairies? What if you wanted to buy woodland for fairies to live on? Can you just do anything if they are "your woods" or can the woods never truly be yours?

Today at Unlock the Law we look at the law relating to woodland and why those fairies wouldn't be getting away with all this building if they were human.

So I've bought some woodland and I'm all ready to start my magical, mystical life amongst the flowers. Are there any restrictions on how I use my woodland?

Unfortunately yes. There may be restrictions on particular activities you want to carry out in your newly purchased paradise.

Building certain types of structure on your woodland will require planning permission, and other types will normally not be allowed.

If you want to erect, extend or alter a forestry building, store, office or shelter or create an access track through your woodland, you may do so without permission. Furthermore you may have a shed in your woodland if you can prove it is genuinely for forresty-type purposes. You are absolutely not allowed to sleep over in your shed or use it to store 'recreational equipment'.

Furthermore, even though you have purchased your woodland there may also be designation over areas of it. This will happen if it is of special scientific interest, or subject to a tree preservation order. If this is the case you will need permission from the relevant body to carry out any development in this area. A specialist property solicitor will be able to advise you of how to go forward and what permissions you need.

I want to be a fairy and have all the nice children leave me messages and trample my bluebells. Can I Build a House in My Woodland?

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely you will be granted permission to build your home in your woodland. There have been a few cases where it has been permitted however, you must be able to prove that you are required to live on your woodland site to ensure the success of a 'woodland business' and that you have made a reasonable living from your woodland over a long period of time. So basically, if you really want to be a fairy, you are going to have to commit.

Ok well how about this, I just live in my regular house and the children and fairies can come and go in my woods as they please. No haters though. Can Anyone Use My Woodland?

In Scotland, there are statutory rights of public access to most land for recreational purposes.

These rights mean that people can pursue recreational, educational and very limited commercial uses of the provided that they do so responsibly. The Act covers a wide range of activities including walking, cycling, horse riding and skiing.

If you own woodland, you will be obliged by law to manage your land in a way that respects these access rights. This may even mean an obligation to make sure the land is safe.

For more information please read:

Buying Property in England and Wales - The Essential Guide

> Buying Property in Scotland - The Complete Guide

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