news

Educational inspiration in the National Forest

posted on November 26, 2015

In partnership with the National Forest Company, the Sylva Foundation recently ran a successful one day myForest for Education workshop for Forest School Leaders and woodland owners.

The workshop began with walks and talks on woodland management. Charles Robinson, National Forest Woodland Management Officer, gave an overview of the 20 year old woodland created on the site of a former coal mine and the next phase of its management. Woodland owner David Scott-Malden explained his management objectives and highlighted the value of having a Forest School group use his site. The mutual benefits of managing the woodland together was further emphasised by Nicola Mailer from Ashby Castle Day Nursery who runs popular weekly Forest School Sessions and summer holiday schemes in the wood.

Participants used the survey form from myForest for Education to do a sketch map of the site, tree inventory and record ecological impacts and benefits of having a regular Forest School in the woodland.

After an inspiring field visit, Jen Hurst, Sylva Foundation’s Education Manager presented myForest for Education online management planning tool and participants enjoyed using the system to map their own Forest School sites and start their management plans.

Participants commented in the evaluation:

“the training has given me a better understanding of managing my site”

“myForest for Education will change the way we approach writing management plans”

Sue Anderson, Community Liaison Officer commented:

“For the National Forest and Sylva Foundation the workshop succeeded in bringing together woodland owners and educators to discuss the value of managing woodlands for education and providing them with practical support to achieve this. It was an enjoyable, informal session that has helped us in developing our woodland network locally.”

We are very grateful to Sue Anderson and the National Forest team for excellent organisation of the day and venue. We look forward to working in partnership again in the new year, when we plan to run a myForest for Education workshop in another part of the National Forest.

Please contact Jen Hurst if you are interested to attending.

 


Comments (0)

The National Forest Woodland Management Grant re-opens

posted on June 12, 2014

Following a successful pilot scheme over the winter 2013/14, The National Forest Company (NFC) has re-opened its Woodland Management Grant Scheme which is part of an innovative programme to encourage effective woodland management throughout the 200 square miles of The National Forest. The grant scheme aims to offset some of the cost of woodland management works within The National Forest.

The NFC is responsible for the creation of The National Forest, which spans parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Over eight million trees have been planted since the inception of the Forest in the early 1990s, and, including the existing mature woodland, the Forest now comprises several hundred woodlands.

As the first woodlands to be planted in the Forest approach first thinnings, the NFC has been working to prioritise woodland management as well as woodland creation. The pilot scheme, run during winter 2013/14, was targeted at the management of 15 – 23 year old woodlands, which make up over 1,500 hectares of The National Forest, as well as mature woodland.

As part of the pilot:

  • 23 grants were offered, covering c.700Ha of woodland
  • Grants were offered up to 75% of fixed standard costs.
  • The range of works funded include:
  • Ride management (14 schemes)
  • Pruning of potential timber trees (9 schemes)
  • Redundant rabbit fence and tree guard removal (11 schemes)
  • Procurement of grey squirrel traps (4 schemes)
  • COT assessments / Management Plans (4 schemes)
  • Replacement of interpretation/notice boards (3 schemes)
  • Installation of bird/bat & owl boxes (5 schemes)

Details and the application forms can be found at: www.nationalforest.org/woodlands/woodlandmanagement/grant.php

For further information about this programme in The National Forest, contact Charles Robinson on 01283 551211, or email cerobinson@nationalforest.org


Comments (0)

Woodland management in The National Forest receives a boost

posted on December 16, 2013
National Forest

The National Forest

The National Forest Company (NFC) has launched an innovative programme to encourage effective woodland management throughout the 200 square miles of The National Forest.

The NFC is responsible for the creation of The National Forest, which spans parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Over eight million trees have been planted since the inception of the Forest in the early 1990s, and, including the existing mature woodland, the Forest now comprises several hundred woodlands, with many more millions of trees to plant.

As the first woodlands to be planted in the Forest approach first thinnings, the NFC has been working to prioritise woodland management as well as woodland creation. Part of the necessary investment has been the appointment of Charles Robinson as Woodland Management Officer, and the creation of an extensive woodland management programme.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • promote the benefits of Woodland Management Plans;
  • develop the local woodland economy and timber markets;
  • maximise the potential of each site in keeping with the aspirations of the woodland owner;
  • ensure the sustainability of the management work and planned future work;
  • encourage the management of woodland for its forestry, landscape, biodiversity and recreation value;
  • develop resilient woodlands and other forest sites that can adapt to climate change, help to sequester carbon and are robust to the challenges faced by tree pests and diseases.

Charles will liaise with the Forest’s woodland owners, promoting the benefits of good management and offering advice on Woodland Management Plans.  He will be researching potential markets for timber and advising on funding and grants to help with the work.

The NFC itself is making a new grant scheme available for woodland owners within The National Forest. Targeted at the management of 15 – 23 year old woodlands, which make up over 2,800 hectares of the Forest, as well as mature woodland, the scheme will be piloted this winter, and if successful, will be rolled out as part of the overall programme in the summer of 2014.

Charles Robinson said: “Planning for woodland development is as important as getting the trees in the ground in the first place. This programme gives us the mechanism to make a real difference to the productivity, resilience, health and accessibility of the woodlands in The National Forest. We have a great opportunity here in the Forest to foster a communal will to have great woods, well looked after, reaping benefits for the woodland owner, and producing a welcoming environment for wildlife and people.”

The woodland management programme encourages good practice amongst all woodland owners in the Forest, and is equally applicable to community groups who may be interested in taking on the management of woodland near where they live.

For further information about this programme in The National Forest, contact Charles Robinson on 01283 551211, or email cerobinson@nationalforest.org

 


 

1.       The National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.  Its objective is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. To date the proportion of woodland cover in the Forest has more than trebled to 19.5 per cent and in 2012 HRH the Duke of Cambridge planted the eight millionth tree in the Forest.

2.       Year by year, The National Forest has been steadily turning what was once one of the least wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose, sustainable forest.  The National Forest provides environmental, social and economic benefits, including landscape enhancement, creation of new wildlife habitats and major new access and leisure opportunities. It is an excellent example of sustainable development – with environmental improvement providing a stimulus both to economic regeneration and to community pride and activity.

3.       To achieve these objectives, the National Forest Company leads the creation of The National Forest, working in partnership with landowners, local authorities, private business, voluntary organisations and local communities and has strong support from Government, politicians and the public.  The Company receives grant in aid from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

4.       The Independent Panel on Forestry, in its final report published in July 2012, stated: ‘The National Forest exemplifies how a long term, resourced and focused agenda can increase publicly accessible woodland in an area alongside other environmental and economic benefits.’

5.       In 2008, the National Forest Company and partners won the inaugural Sustainable Development UK Award, for their work in Ashby Woulds, at the heart of The National Forest.


Comments (0)