English Woodlands Forestry: How to Manage Your Woodland

The active management of woodlands will contribute towards delivery of a wide range of benefits including biodiversity, flood mitigation, water quality, carbon capture, landscape value and timber production. Woodland management frequently requires the removal of some trees. The felling of trees (and their ultimate restocking with new ones) is a critical part of management as it contributes to the species and structural diversity that is so important to our woodland health and wildlife. Felling of trees also unlocks important [...]

Case Study: Soil Carbon Assessment at Blenheim Estate

Introduction Based on the few studies that have explored the effects of woodland establishment on low grade arable land, it is likely that planting trees will result in a net gain in soil organic carbon (SOC) over time – a sequestration process, key to mitigating climatic change. Measuring gains (or potentially losses) of SOC is key to understanding how our woodlands alter the soil beneath them. In time, where gains are measured, it may be possible for landowners to [...]

Farmers Carbon Balance

Introduction Whilst maintaining superior quality agricultural land (grades 1 and 2) for food production is essential in the UK, planting mixed-broadleaf trees on low quality or less productive areas of arable land can provide significant carbon benefit. Carbon sequestration can go beyond simple sequestration in aboveground biomass. This briefing sets out to fully assess the carbon implications of converting just one hectare of degraded arable land into woodland. Reference List: DEFRA (2012) Agriculture in [...]

Commercial Forestry for the Climate?

Introduction Woodland covers just 13% of the total land area in the UK (Forest Research, 2021), compared to a European average of 44%, meaning potential for afforestation in the UK is high (Lamb et al., 2016). With ambitious planting targets of 30,000 hectares of new woodland each year forming a central pillar in the government strategy to reach net zero emissions by 2050, it is imperative that the UK forestry sector adopts an environmentally conscientious approach to tree planting. [...]


By Izzy Williamson What is rewilding? As a contemporary form of conservation and ecological restoration, rewilding has gained heightened attention and critical discussion in recent years. In being defined by Rewilding Europe as “letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes”1, rewilding aims to restore what has been lost and protect what is left. More specifically, the rewilding concept orients upon the ‘three C’s’, also known [...]

Educating the Next Generation: Forest Schools

What are Forest Schools? Forest schools are spaces where learning takes place in natural settings - usually woodland, forest or parkland. The aim of forest schools is to promote children’s’ interpersonal and cognitive development as well as building knowledge. To achieve this, forest schools encourage children to learn as individuals through exploring, discovering, trying and seeing. Typical activities tend to include fire-lighting, den-building, tree-climbing, foraging, sensory walks and storytelling. Sessions are run by qualified Forest School practitioners – with [...]

Why Are Hedgerows So Important?

By Izzy Williamson How to effectively manage hedgerows? Also known as “the patchwork quilts of the British countryside”, hedgerows are strips of wildlife habitats which lie along a woodland edge1. They tend to be found lining roads, railways, footpaths, and fields. While hedgerows can vary from narrow hawthorn bushes, to thick brambles and mature trees, they tend to be over 20m long and less than 5m wide. Why are hedgerows important to wildlife? Food [...]

Rewilding vs Woodland Creation for Carbon

By Ed Bradbury, Forest Canopy Foundation, 2022 Can man afford to stand back and let nature fix the problem? A mini study comparing carbon sequestration in artificial and natural regeneration. Introduction: Establishing new trees and woodlands is an effective way to sequester atmospheric carbon. In the UK, even slower-growing native species such as oak (Quercus robur) can sequester ~2.68 tonnes of CO2e in a single tree over 100 years (Cannell, 1999). Because of this, man is now turning to [...]

Living in a Post-COVID World

An Enforced ‘Stop and Think’ Despite the recent sunshine and gradual relaxations of some aspects of lockdown, it’s clear we have a long way to go before we emerge from the waters of COVID. However, with each government announcement inching us closer to a version of normality, we reflect on what the pandemic has taught us about our business practices, ways of working and integrating with the planet around us, and the positives and lessons we look to take [...]

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