Woodland Trust may put Jacob’s Well up for sale

Jacob's Well wood at Coldstream
Jacob's Well wood at Coldstream

The Woodland Trust charity are looking to pass over management of the woodland area by Coldstream Bridge to either a community group or private buyer.

In a letter to Coldstream & District Community Council, the Woodland Trust Scotland explain that having undertaken a review of its estate “alternative options for the long term management of some sites” are being sought.

“We have decided that we should seek such alternative managment for Jacob’s Well,” said Gary Bolton, of Woodland Trust Scotland.

“The trust already has positive experience of transferring management of some of its sites to local community groups, public bodies and organisations and if such a body was interested in taking on this site we would be happy to discuss how this could be done at minimal cost.

“If no such group expresses any interest within the next two months then we will consider other options, including putting the property on the open market. In event of a private sale we would impose legally binding safeguards to ensure that the property remained predominantly as woodland and existing public access rights were protected.”

Woodland Trust Scotland was gifted Jacobs Well Wood by Lennel Estates in 1995 and since then has been working to increase its value to wildlife, the public and local landscape as well as safeguarding its future. In 2006 they outlined their ‘long term (50 year) vision’ for the woodland and management operations for the next 15-20 years, which was to be reviewed every five years.

Jacob’s Well is a small spring which discharges from a pipe in a stonework facade into a shallow circular depression which runs down to the River Tweed. Water from the spring was used for whisky blending by local grocer Carmichaels and although identified as ‘Jacob’s Well’ on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map the origins of its name are uncertain other than that it may have religious connotations.

No decision has been reached yet about whether a local group in Coldstream is prepared to take on the ownership and management of the woodland area at Jacobs Well as there is a great deal of detail to consider before any commitment could be made. However, discusions are on-going and a meeting is to be arranged with Woodland Trust representatives.