A new network established to promote and share knowledge about novel forest species across Britain has been launched today. SilviFuture has been created by a partnership between Forestry Commission, Forest Research, Silvanus Trust and the Sylva Foundation. It aims to help promote information about trees and forest stands of less common or so-called ‘minor’ species.
At its heart is a website and database that enables woodland owners and forestry professionals to add, search and share information about more than seventy tree species, many of which are less well-known or tested in Britain.
It will support:
- finding and sharing information on the silviculture of novel tree species. Some of these may prove more resilient to a changing climate or pests and diseases, and provide valuable products for future markets.
- exploring a database to learn about tree growth, stand management, where certain species grow well in the country, and even successes in their marketing. The database combines research data with real-life growing experience.
Information on the growing potential and end uses of these species is provided, together with geographic information on forest locations in Britain. Forest Research have added data to the database, gathered from decades of research in field trials for many of these species. All the data can be interrogated on a web-based database, complete with maps and further information.
The database will be updated continually and can be searched by species or location to allow those thinking of planting new species to fully evaluate the options, and for researchers to see how species are performing across a range of locations. Future developments will include photo uploads and commenting tools.
Woodland owners and forestry professionals are encouraged to register and upload information. The network has been launched today at the Confor woodland show on September 12th at the Royal Forestry Society stand.