Sylva Foundation CEO Gabriel Hemery talked about wood culture at Confor’s Westminster conference this week.
After reading a couple of verses from W. H. Auden’s poem — A culture is no better than its woods — Gabriel talked about how society could revive a wood culture in Britain by addressing three key aspects.
PEOPLE – the need for more collaboration and for a coherent story so that all of society feels an affinity with the natural world. He called for Forest School to be available to all children in the UK. Such actions, he said, will ensure that society is sustainable.
WOODLANDS – the need to bring more of our forests into good management (as measured against the UK Forestry Standard), by supporting woodland managers and innovating in all areas including new green economics. This will ensure that our woodlands are sustainable.
WOOD – to bring innovation into the heart of our wood sector, from the way that we understand and inventorise our wood resources, to engineering innovations including thermal-modification and nano-crystalline cellulose. Such steps will help deliver a sustainable economy.
Gabriel ended by calling for more collaboration between organisations to create a strong and coherent voice for forestry, in all its guises.
“How much they cost each other and the gods.
A culture is no better than its woods.”
Bucolics, II: Woods; W.H. Auden.
Thanks to Confor for organising an excellent conference.