When we first visited Butterdon Wood we knew immediately that it was the perfect place for Running Deer CIC. Admittedly the woodland hadn’t been touched for almost 25 years and we had to crawl through much of it on our hands and knees, but it felt right and we knew we could make it our home.
How did we get there?
Back in 2013 we found ourselves in a bit of a predicament. The landowner that we had been renting our land from decided to sell up. This left us with a very tight timescale in which to find somewhere else to live, about 3 weeks to be exact!
We approached The Woodland Trust, who offered us the use of a beautiful woodland from which to deliver our projects. We knew from the start that it was not a long term solution – we would need to find a more permanent home for Running Deer.
And so the search for a woodland of our own began. We found Butterdon Wood.
Purchasing a woodland
Finding the money to purchase our own woodland was going to be our biggest challenge. We had managed to secure a 50% grant but needed to find the remaining funds, in the form of a mortgage, to buy the woodland.
After careful research we approached Big Issue Invest about a mortgage to be used to purchase Butterdon Wood. At this time Running Deer was still a very small organisation, with no real financial history. Still reliant on grants for income generation.
Big Issue Invest
Big Issue Invest could see the positive social impact the work we do was having on the people we work with, and the woodland itself would be able to generate income to pay the mortgage. They arranged our mortgage and made it possible for us to purchase Butterdon Wood!
Butterdon Wood provides Running Deer CIC with the security of a home.
We have evolved, as we do, going on to deliver a diverse range of grant funded projects and establishing an independent school for children with special educational needs – Running Deer School.