Into the forest: three fabulous woodland properties for tree-lovers
When asked for pointers on tourism development by the leader of a small island nation, it is said that the Queen’s sole piece of advice was to “build nothing taller than a palm tree”.
She clearly knew that a landscape dominated by trees is by far more alluring than one dominated by buildings – an insight that developers everywhere would do well to note.
Trees are beautiful, and living close to them, particularly if they’re mature and huge, is a privilege too few people are able to enjoy.
In 1919, just 5 per cent of the UK was covered by woodland, but steady work since, especially after the Great Storm of 1987, has seen that figure climb to 13 per cent and rising, as more trees are planted under community, regional and national schemes, both for amenity use and carbon offsetting.
In 2019-20, around 13,000 hectares of newly created woodland were reported in the UK, according to Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually an area about a tenth the size of the Harrogate District. The Government is committed to increasing tree-planting to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025, so there’s still some way to go.
In sufficient quantity, trees can also be a source of income, and commercial forests are now changing hands for high prices. Last year, some forests sold for 30-70 per cent over the asking price, according to Savills’ latest Spotlight on Forestry report. Which only goes to show that trees are more highly valued now that they have been for a long time.
If you love the idea of living in close proximity to woodland, these three properties are dream homes for tree-lovers, so could be ideal for you.
Set back, up the hill from the main road in Nidderdale, Knox Hall is a Grade II listed house straight from a fairytale, and comes complete with four-acre “enchanted wood”. The house has five bedrooms (two of them in those turrets), two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, two reception rooms, study and large garden room. Outside, there are gardens, terraces, a pond, detached double garage and ample off-street parking.
Pinewood Manor, near Masham, is a large Edwardian house with a detached one-bed cottage in its two acres of partially wooded grounds. The main house has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, dining kitchen, pantry, utility room, laundry room, study, cellar, and two large reception rooms. There’s also a heated indoor swimming pool with changing facilities, plus stables, tack room and barn.
Finally, Roundhill Farm is a 17th-century Grade ll listed country house above Pateley Bridge. It has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and breakfast room, laundry room, three reception rooms, music room, and large media room. A self-contained leisure wing in an attached barn has an entertainment room, bar and large bedroom upstairs, above a kitchen, gym, swim-spa, shower and changing rooms. Outside, there’s a detached garage with workshop and greenhouse, plus 40 acres, with lake and woodland.