As part of his approach to the planners, Lowthrop had turned half of the 36 acre wood into a community resource, an area for excluded children. He is being paid a small fee by the local council for each child who was sent there on a sort of outward bound course at the wood, and there was an additional bonus for each child who got a job (and kept it) after leaving the wood.
When Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, was developing the Big Society ideas that he is now putting into practice, he visited a tiny wood in Lincolnshire and met and was very impressed by a man called Nigel Lowthrop. Lowthrop lives « off the grid » with his wife and son. He built his house in the middle of the wood on the edge of a quarry. After two hours talking to Nigel the PM left, but he sent back two of his ministers for later visits, and there is no doubt that the things they learnt at Hill Holt Wood are on their way to becoming policy in the next Queen’s Speech.