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The management of Swiss forests.

The management of Swiss forests.

by Angus ~ 31 October, 2013 ~ 3 comments

Meeting a Swiss forester this week, in the canton of Vaud, I asked if he could show me how local community forests are managed.  To my surprise, he immediately invited me to come and see an woodland area where a team of forestry workers were cutting various hardwoods.  My guide appeared quite informal but he was certainly not taking any risks as he handed me all the safety kit - a fluorescent jacket and a protective helmet attached to a visor and ear defenders. Read more...

Coppice and dead wood

Coppice and dead wood

by Thomas Kenny ~ 1 April, 2012 ~ 2 comments

I am currently studying for a Foundation Degree in Forestry and Woodland Management at Plumpton College in East Sussex and am preparing a dissertation on dead wood in coppice woodlands.

Coppicing is a well-known silvicultural practice, carried out in the UK for the purpose of habitat and wildlife conservation, and for sustainable timber production / products. It is widely accepted that, whilst coppicing has many benefits for conservation, ‘woodland historically managed as coppice is generally lacking in dead wood’  (FC 2002). Earlier literature such as Buckley (1992) and Kimmins (1997), supports the view that there is a general lack of dead wood presence within actively managed coppice woodlands. Read more...

National Tree Week 2011 - 26th November to 4th December

National Tree Week 2011 – 26th November to 4th December

by Richard ~ 27 November, 2011 ~ Comments Off on National Tree Week 2011 – 26th November to 4th December

The Tree Council’s annual tree weeks have been an undoubted success, emanating from the 1973  “Plant a tree in ’73” campaign (some rather cynical individuals chanted “cut it down in ’74”) and must have resulted in not only in promoting the whole idea of trees but in planting many thousands across the country in parks, gardens, roadsides, corners of farmland and development sites to name but a few.  The Tree Coucil ( http://www.treecouncil.org.uk) is our foremost campaigner and umbrella body for UK organisations involved in tree planting, care and conservation.

Forestry and woodlands are a long-term business but those of us planting in ’73 can see the fruits of our labours: we stand back and look up at the hornbeam, hazel, hawthorn and fieldmaple spreading wide and high;  the oak, ash, beech and birch are trees, a miraculous metamorphosis from those tiny whips planted during the cold winter months – it seems like yesterday.  We plant for the next generation but once established trees grow quickly so we can all enjoy watching them develop. Read more...

Small woodlands compete for top award at Excellence in Forestry Competition 2011

Small woodlands compete for top award at Excellence in Forestry Competition 2011

by Angus ~ 19 July, 2011 ~ comments welcome

For the first time in the history of the prestigious Excellence in Forestry Competition, small woodlands were in the running for prizes this year. A new category for small woodlands attracted strong entries, with the winner’s prize being awarded to Rawhaw Wood in Northamptonshire, a Runner Up prize to Red Lodge Wood in Leicestershire and a Certificate of Merit to Vera’s Spinney in Nottinghamshire. Read more...

Wildlife surveys

Wildlife surveys

by Lewis ~ 7 May, 2011 ~ 3 comments

There is a considerable number of different surveys running throughout the country, some of which might hold a particular interest for you.  Many 'natural history' organisations / charities are dependent on the input from volunteers to monitor the status of plant and animal populations throughout the UK or specific local areas - especially in these financially difficult times. Read more...

Woodland burials on a grand scale

Woodland burials on a grand scale

by Dick ~ 20 April, 2011 ~ 2 comments

In the UK, we tend to think of woodland burials as a very informal and personal thing. On a recent trip to Sweden, I visited a woodland graveyard at the other end of the scale.

Skogskyrkogården on the outskirts of Stockholm is vast; you have to be there to truly appreciate the sheer size of the place. Established in the early 1900s it is completely unlike any other cemetery before it. So much so, that it is considered one of the most important creations of modern architecture – and as such was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1994.  The graves are for the most part low and simple; the natural surroundings – typical Nordic forest of mainly conifers and birch – are the centrepiece, not the monuments.

Read more...

Yew-turn on Forestry Commission sell-off

Yew-turn on Forestry Commission sell-off

by Angus ~ 20 February, 2011 ~ 14 comments

On 17th February 2011 the Environment Minister, Caroline Spelman (DEFRA's Cabinet minister), announced that the consultation on the Forestry Commission sell-off was being cut short and that the Government would rethink the whole thing.

However, things are never as simple as they seem.  The Government is still committed to reducing DEFRA's costs and whether the vast woodland and forestry estate in England will remain under the management of the Forestry Commission is debatable. Read more...

What does the Forestry Commission consultation really say?

What does the Forestry Commission consultation really say?

by Angus ~ 8 February, 2011 ~ 3 comments

Few people have actually read the 64-page consultation document on the future of the Forestry Commission's English estate. I am one of those who have, and when I finished reading it my eyes were popping out because it doesn't say what you'd expect.  Here is a short summary of the proposals.  You certainly wouldn't guess them from what most of the press have said.

When you read what DEFRA says it turns out that the sell-off of 100,000 acres has already been decided and the consultation document is not about that at all.  It is in fact principally about a lease-off and a give away. Read more...

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