Thousands of broadleaved trees planted to create fire breaks

posted on August 26, 2015

Environmental change ‒ meaning any change or disturbance of the environment caused by human influences and/or natural ecological processes ‒ seems to be impacting Britain’s trees and forests with increasing frequency and severity.

Swinley Forest fire (c) Ian Emery.

Swinley Forest fire in May 2011. Photo (c) Ian Emery.

In May 2011 a devastating forest fire killed Corsican pine trees across 110 hectares in Swinley Forest, Berkshire. Dozens of local residents had to flee, while owners Forestry Commission England were faced with the clear up and replanting costs. Forestry Commission forest fire expert Rob Gazzard says that:

“We since planted in about 65,000 broadleaved trees, using a mixture of oak and sweet chestnut to form fire belts, formed by fire-resilient species.”

  • What do you think about environmental change?
  • Have you been affected by environmental change?
  • What are you doing about making our trees and forests more resilient to environmental change?


A national survey is aiming is to help understand progress in awareness and actions in adapting to environmental change among woodland owners and managers (including agents), tree nursery businesses, and forestry professionals.

The information gathered will be used by organisations, policy makers and researchers to help improve the resilience of the nation’s forests. The results will inform the government’s National Adaptation Programme.

British Woodlands Survey 2015The British Woodlands Survey 2015 on Resilience is supported by a very wide number of partners, with funding provided by the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust. It is hosted and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation.

The survey is live from July 31st to September 15th 2015.

Take the survey:

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