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woodlands web updates (1)

woodlands web updates (1)

by blogs at woodlands ~ 15 December, 2020 ~ comments welcome

The woodlands blog has reported on the anthropocene - how human activity is creating a geological era characterised by human impact on the Earth.  Now a report finds that human-made (artificial) material will this year surpass the sum total of all living material (biomass) on earth.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-3010-5

A Swedish study has shown that crop yield can be enhanced  by ensuring that woodland and grassland areas are present in the vicinity of crop fields.    If the landscape is more diverse in terms of plants and habitats, then the number of pollinators (bees snd bumblebees) is greater.   Read more...

Buying a woodland through a SIPP - Self-Invested Personal Pension.

Buying a woodland through a SIPP – Self-Invested Personal Pension.

by blogs at woodlands ~ 30 September, 2020 ~ 6 comments

Buying a woodland through a SIPP

I thought it would be helpful to share my practical experience buying a Woodland through a SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension).   This is definitely possible and reasonably straightforward once you understand the steps that need to be followed. There are however cost implications which make it much more expensive than buying with cash on hand. But it does mean you can use your pension funds and costs can mostly be covered using pension funds. Read more...

LiDAR - amazing technology for tracing the history of a woodland

LiDAR – amazing technology for tracing the history of a woodland

by Angus ~ 3 July, 2020 ~ 4 comments

Over the last 20 years there has been a revolution in understanding the history of our woodlands.  That's because a technology known as LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) allows planes to map the forest floor to an accuracy of 4-6 inches (100 to 150mm) which means that earthbanks and holes of any significant size can be mapped accurately.  An aeroplane flies over the woodland with very precise plotting of its height and position and it bounces laser beams off the forest floor to collect enormous quantities of high-precision data.  The cleverness of the technology is that even though a beam is bounced off the ground the signals from trees and leaves can be filtered out: so it maps a detailed picture of the ground surface totally naked. Read more...

Changing phenologies and climate change

Changing phenologies and climate change

by Chris ~ 16 July, 2019 ~ one comment

Phenology is about the observation of natural events, recording when things happen, for example, when horse chestnut and ash trees come into leaf, or when the first swifts or bumblebees are seen. These timings vary from year to year. Through the recording of natural events over many years, one can look for trends and see if they are correlated with changes in the weather or other phenomena.

Recent studies by researchers at Rothampstead, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and the British Trust for Ornithology suggest that a number of different phenologies are changing.   They looked at various insect and bird populations in a variety of different habitats (urban gardens, agricultural systems, sand dunes, grassland, woodlands etc).  The broad conclusion was there was a trend towards earlier phenologies for UK bird, moth and butterfly species across habitat types” . For example, aphids (which breed rapidly and can adapt to changing temperature quite quickly) now take flight some 30 days earlier in the year than fifty years ago.   Such phenological changes have ‘knock on’ effects.  For example, the earlier arrival of aphids can affect potato crops.  Aphids spread plant viruses and young potato plants are more susceptible to viral disease than older, more mature plants. Read more...

Trees, woodlands and methane

Trees, woodlands and methane

by Chris ~ 12 June, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Methane might be a clean fossil fuel when in a pipeline but it is second only to carbon dioxide in terms of contributing to global warming, when present in the atmosphere.  Over the last two centuries, the level of methane in the atmosphere has increased dramatically (and now stands at approximately 1800 parts per billion). Much of this increase has been linked to certain agricultural practices (farming of cattle and other ruminants, paddy fields) plus the emissions from decomposing landfill etc. 

However, recent work in a number of forested and woodland areas (for example, The Amazon, Borneo, China, Hungary etc) has suggested that the release of methane by trees is significant, and given that methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas - this has to be considered in relation to climate change.  The methane contribution from  trees has not really been considered when working out the global methane budget but it now seems that they make a contribution.   Read more...

Woodland Vandalism and ... the kindness of strangers at March Wood

Woodland Vandalism and … the kindness of strangers at March Wood

by Karen ~ 8 October, 2018 ~ 2 comments

Last November vandalism and fire devastated the March Wood Project which is a therapeutic and educational project based in Kent, and the story of how the project was brought back to life is extraordinarily encouraging.

The project, set in woodlands near Ashford works with young people and adults affected by mental health and social issues, and it's a not-for-profit organisation. The attack last year meant that we lost equipment and use of an outdoor barn classroom. Read more...

Wood Ants film

Wood Ants film

by Angus ~ 15 August, 2018 ~ 2 comments

WoodlandsTV has made a new ant film that shows wildlife film maker, Tom Hartwell taking a closer look at the life of Wood Ants. With numbers decreasing across the UK it is important to pay more attention to these fascinating creatures and the role they play within our ecosystem.

There are over 200 species of Formica rufa - the scientific name for Wood ants. As the name suggests they are most commonly found in woodlands but some species are also found in grasslands. Read more...

Branching Out Adventures competing with Go-Ape in East Sussex

Branching Out Adventures competing with Go-Ape in East Sussex

by Angus ~ 25 September, 2015 ~ one comment

"Setting up our own business has been one steep learning curve after another," says Mark Oakden, whose background is in construction and surveying.  "When we opened to the public in May this year, we expected to be immediately overwhelmed by customers but it's taken some time to build up.  Now, 4 months on, it's going really well and we sometimes have 60 people in the wood climbing at the same time.  The most satisfying for me is working with kids who have disabilities or troubled backgrounds.  To be able to do something like this gives them huge self-confidence as well as a thrill."

Mark and his business partner Dave lease two acres of oak woodland at Bentley in East Sussex (near Lewes) and have invested over £300,000 to set up their high walkways, giant swing, climbing wall and zip wire.  Read more...

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