About us

Our Vision and Values

Elfwoods was established as a local response to several global initiatives that advocate more caring, fairer and respectful ways of living. The elfwoods community strives to support positive interactions with Nature, so that present and future generations can share, learn about, care for, and enjoy its legacy. We see ourselves as stewards of the 30 acres of land entrusted to us, championing Nature and our relations with her. We aim to ensure that every visitor can share in the outstanding setting, character and tranquility of the woodland, while minimising our impact on Nature and on the local community.
So why the name ‘elfwoods’? Elves have long been described in stories as mythological guardians of forests and other natural spaces, and we found that ‘ELF’ is also a useful acronym to describe our vision, purpose and values:

Ecology, Livelihoods, Flourishing

We champion three goals for more environmentally sustainable ways of living: a rich and diverse local ecology; fulfilling local work; and resilient, flourishing local communities.

Environment, Land use, Forests

We recognise the preeminence of the natural environment to human wellbeing; the principal consideration for how land and forests can and should be used to support community life. 

Everyone, Learning, Friendships

We seek to offer everyone, irrespective of their means or abilities, somewhere uplifting to learn, appreciate and participate in caring for Nature through friendship and cooperation. 

Environmental Law Foundation

We support the Environmental Law Foundation, a charity that assists local communities facing intolerable obstacles preventing them accessing or helping to care for the natural environment.

Our Structure and Objectives

Once registered, we will operate elfwoods as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation – a social enterprise that is incorporated as a charity, but not as company. At the core of our Founder’s charter are the Earth Charter(1principles, which provide the foundation for how we run elfwoods. And in meeting our objectives we are guided by Sustainable Development Goals(2), which assist us in assessing the effectiveness of our approach.

More detailed information about our vision, values, principles and practices will be made available here following registration with the Charity Commission, in the elfwoods CIO Governing Document and our Founders’ Charter.

Elfwoods Timberyard

A timberyard has been operated at elfwoods for over a decade by the local woodcrafting enterprise Built by Artizans; providing the means for multifunctional sustainable woodland management at the site. Whilst the timberyard supports a productive rural enterprise, the woodsmen and woodswomen cooperate with, and are founding members of elfwoods; helping to ensure the long term sustainable management of the timber resource on the land. This interaction allows visitors the opportunity to volunteer assistance in some woodland management activities, and allows foresters the opportunity to contribute to the wider community benefits offered at elfwoods.

The timberyard allows for locally grown timber to be processed into various useful products that our communities need. This very important part of trying to live more sustainably means that our woodlands are well cared for as a renewable natural resource, in addition to providing the community with many other essential environmental services and valued wildlife habitat.

For more information, please see the Built by Artizans website.

Elfwoods People


Many people over the years have contributed to the evolution of elfwoods, and no one person can fairly claim to be the founder, as the proposition has been a collective and cooperative effort. We all create and nourish the spark, even if just through talking around the campfire; so credit is really due to the friendship and open-minded, generous nature of the many people* who have been prepared to think outside the constraints of convention and habits.

That said, here are a couple of the people who have been instrumental in bringing the vision of elfwoods to fruition…


Paddy Cox

Environmental scientist, woodsman, anthropologist, step-father and grandfather, and all manner of other things, Paddy is just as at home talking ecology, mythology and astronomy over a cuppa as he is driving a tractor, chopping, crafting and sculpting wood. Paddy is on a mission to make elfwoods a welcoming place for wildlife and people to flourish. Find out how to accompany him on his mission here.


Dylan Walker, Woodland Manager

Dylan has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years. He learned traditional timber framing techniques and construction skills as an apprentice to Grand Designs woodsman Ben Law; progressing to become senior framer and then project manager. Since 2006 Dylan has focused on working with timber in the round and creating more sustainable buildings. In 2013 he formed Artizans, focusing on creating natural, sustainable and beautiful structures. Find out about short courses run by Dylan and the Artizans team at elfwoods here.

(1) The Earth Charter is a document with sixteen principles powering a global movement towards a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.

(2) Sustainable Development Goals are aspirations universally agreed through the UN for the protection of the planet and the wellbeing of all people

*Rich, Archie, Mary, Philippe, Peggy, Marc, Fiona, Bruce, Kim, Charlotte, Jim, Steve, Sue, Becky, Josh, Andy, Katy, Jorge, Martine, Kris, Barney, Tom, Nicola, Nick, Ian, Scotty, Rob, Dan, Louise, James, Alex, Christine, Derek, Nathan, Anne, Clive, Tony W, Pete, Zoe, Tony K, Gillie, Trog, Kate, Richard, Emma, Nina, Jackie and the many others who have helped build our elfwoods community