£20,792.50 FUNDED

Smallwood Management with Alpine Tractor

Adam Philips

The purchase of a Compact Alpine Tractor, Side Arm Flail, Timer Forwarding Trailer and a Log Grapple to enable the expansion of the business in small scale woodland management.

Increasing the value of our woodlands.

There are myriad small woodlands in Britain, all of which have intrinsic value with regards to amenity, landscape and conservation. These values, however, can all be increased with sympathetic management involving thinning, coppicing and path management.

These are services provided by Adam Phillips, who worked in the conservation field for 14 years after gaining an HND in Countryside Management and a qualification in Arboriculture (tree surgery).  Since moving to Cornwall in 1995, he has worked for both Wildlife Woodlands and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

Adam lives and breathes countryside conservation. He relishes managing the five acres of land surrounding his picturesque miner’s cottage: planting trees and shrubs, promoting wildlife and growing fruit and vegetables. He started his own business in 2001, with the aim of providing personal advice and services within the woodland and conservation sector. “The niche I fill at the moment is one of personal service, which I enjoy,” he says.

A valuable contribution to conservation
Working with woodland managers and landowners, Adam aims to help them to bring small woodlands and hedgerows into sustainable use for wood fuel; this can be an asset for the landowner, whilst contributing to nature conservation.

He can advise on all aspects of tree planting, as well as vegetation management and the natural regeneration of woodland: “I can assess and manage areas to create the conditions suitable for natural regeneration, which ensures genetically important local provenance.”

He can also carry out coppicing, a method of woodland management dating back to the Neolithic period and consisting of the felling and subsequent regrowth of areas of the woodland on rotation, thus increasing biodiversity and extending the lives of the trees.

LEADER funding increases scope of business
To fulfil this vocation, it’s critical that Adam has the right equipment: “Without machinery, there’s no scope for the extraction of wood for firewood or timber, which can partially or fully offset the price of works. Until now, one of the limitations has been the right equipment, as most commercial machinery is too large, damaging and inefficient to carry out this type of work.”

A grant from LEADER through the South and East Local Action Group enabled Adam to purchase equipment to manage areas he couldn’t otherwise access, and also to provide additional services.

The equipment consisted of a compact alpine tractor to provide low-impact accessibility to narrow areas; a forwarding trailer and crane; a log grapple to move large pieces of timber and a sidearm flail/finger bar mower to allow access for woodland management.

Before receiving his grant, Adam was turning down contracts. He’s now offering services to a wider range of clients, and hopes to take on an apprentice/employee in the future. We think he’s a superb example of how LEADER funding is helping sole traders to diversify their operations.

To find out more about Adam and the services he provides, go to

Key documents