Welcome to our library. These resources are direct outputs of the activities of the Sylva Foundation and our think-tank Forestry Horizons.
We are proud to be associated with the Global Forest Information Service, through which our publications are promoted to the worldwide forestry community.
This paper is based largely on a report produced by the European Forest Genetic Programme(EUFORGEN), which is synthesised here with permission. With the addition of specific geographic and policy information the paper has been made relevant to the forestry sector in England, and is intended to provide practical information for foresters.
Scattered broadleaved tree species such as ashes (Fraxinus excelsior L. and Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl.), black alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.), birches (Betula pendula Roth. and Betula pubescens Ehrh.), elms (Ulmus glabra Huds., Ulmus laevis Pall. and Ulmus minor Mill.), limes (Tilia cordata Mill. and Tilia platyphyllos Scop.), maples (Acer campestre L., Acer platanoides L. and Acer pseudoplatanus L.), wild service tree (Sorbus domestica L. and Sorbus torminalis L. Crantz), walnuts (Juglans regia L., Juglans nigra L. and hybrids) and wild cherry (Prunus avium L.) are important components of European forests. Many species have high economic, environmental and social values. Their scattered distributions, exacerbated in many cases by human activity, may make them more vulnerable to climate change. They are likely to have less ability to reproduce or adapt to shifting climate space than more widespread species. The general impacts of climate change on these scattered species are reviewed. Some specific risks and opportunities are highlighted for each species, although there is considerable uncertainty and therefore, difficulty in quantifying many specific risks and/or impacts on scattered broadleaved tree species.
Hockeridge & Pancake Woods are situated near Ashley Green, Buckinghamshire. The two woods contain a mix of species and silvicultural practices, and are a microcosm of post WWII forestry trends. This report presents work undertaken to design a model future-proof woodland and was commissioned by the woodland owners, the Royal Forestry Society.
Broadleaved trees represent 37% of the forest resource of Europe; equating to 9% of the world’s forest resource. The high number of broadleaved species (c. 80), many of which are ‘minor’, is reflected in a lack of adequate information on their distribution and state of health. Existing and projected impacts of climate change on the broadleaved resource are reviewed, as are future possible socio-economic drivers for forest management. Assisting the European forest resource and the sector to adapt to change, and to exploit opportunities, may take the form of broader species and provenance choice, new approaches to forest design, and more support for research, particularly tree breeding. Production forestry may benefit in some regions with changes in yield and the development of stronger markets for hardwoods as a substitute for tropical hardwoods or fossil fuel-derived materials in construction, and for bio-energy markets.
Concern about the impacts of climate change on our trees and woodlands has led to increasing interest from owners and managers. The science of climate change and tree-related research is developing fast but advice for landowners can be difficult to access or unclear. This publication sets out to summarise the science and provide some advice, at least for the most likely options for the future.
This report is the product of a Short-Term Scientific Mission conducted for COST Action E42, concerning the predicted impacts of global climate change in Europe, with the aims of: (1) appraising the scientific methods being used to predict the changes that will occur in distributions of valuable broadleaved species, and; (2) outlining forest management and silvicultural responses.
Gabriel Hemery and co-authors explain the concept behind an online network promoting and sharing knowledge about novel forest species, and encourage woodland owners to get involved.
High-quality abundance data are expensive and time-consuming to collect and often highly limited in availability. Nonetheless, accurate, high-resolution abundance distributions are essential for many ecological applications ranging from species conservation to epidemiology. Producing models that can predict abundance well, with good resolution over large areas, has therefore been an important aim in ecology, but poses considerable challenges. We present a two-stage approach to modelling abundance, combining two established techniques. First, we produce ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) of trees in Great Britain at a fine resolution, using much more common presence-absence data and key environmental variables. We then use Random Forest regression to predict abundance by linking the results of the SDMs to a much smaller amount of abundance data. We show that this method performs well in predicting the abundance of 20 of 25 tested British tree species, a group that is generally considered challenging for modelling distributions due to the strong influence of human activities. Maps of predicted tree abundance for the whole of Great Britain are provided at 1 km2 resolution. Abundance maps have a far wider variety of applications than presence-only maps, and these maps should allow improvements to aspects of woodland management and conservation including analysis of habitats and ecosystem functioning, epidemiology, and disease management, providing a useful contribution to the protection of British trees. We also provide complete
R scripts to facilitate application of the approach to other scenarios.
.grifiles are required.
A review of existing and projected impacts of the emerging woodfuel market on woodland management, using a case study of an English estate.
A contract report for the Confederation of Forest Industries (UK) Ltd and CEPF as part of a European Union-funded project. The England case study addresses a large number of questions relating to mobilsation of forest products from fragmented woodlands. Sections include a description of the forest resource, the forest owners, and issues relating to wood mobilisation. Data came from a literature review, interviews with expert stakeholders and a workshop.
A consultancy report presenting an evidence base comprising research and findings from the production, processing, supply and end user stages of the woodfuel supply chain in the Gatwick Diamond and wider South East of England.
A consultancy report for South Oxfordshire District Council providing a management plan for three urban woods to assist in meeting the Council's Woodland Management Initiative.
The 2009 National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Foresters attracted more than 130 delegates to hear UK and international speakers outline the drivers may affect UK forestry and land use in the decades to come.
This think-piece was commissioned by the inter-agency Woodland Policy Group (WPG) as a preliminary examination of the present and future relationship between the UK and the world timber trade in order to identify areas where further investigation by the Land Use Policy Group (LUPG) might be worthwhile. The authors were asked to explore the extent to which international factors affect UK woodland conservation and ways in which adverse impacts might be countered. This 2008 article is an update of the original first pulished in 2007.
This report presents findings of a consultation undertaken for Forest Research aiming to identify and demonstrate the most cost and time efficient methods of identifying the owners of National Inventory of Woodlands and Trees (NIWT) listed woodlands that had an area of 0.1ha or greater in two 10km2 sample areas in Oxfordshire.
Gabriel Hemery questions whether it is right to put all our faith in woodfuel, or whether there are better ways in which forestry can help provide energy supplies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Kirsty Monk and Gabriel Hemery investigate the role and importance of the lesser known group of ecosystem engineers in British woodlands, examine the extent of our fungal knowledge and discuss their implications for forestry in the future.
Jo Clark and Gabriel Hemery report on field trials established in 2003 to test five walnut hybrid varieties. Planted within an innovative silvicultural mixture, five years on, some have shown outstanding growth.
Common walnut (Juglans regia L.) is cultivated across much of Europe. There are many qualities that favour it as a valuable broadleaved tree for the future including its rapid growth, the high value of its timber and its plasticity in respect to projected climate change. Some countries in Europe, particularly France and Italy, have invested many years of silvicultural and genetic research in developing the species' potential. Today, most European countries are interested in common walnut, and research findings have been published in many languages. This paper summarises the most important of these, published in French, Italian, German and English, and provides an overview of the latest recommendations for best practise in walnut silviculture.
Jo Clark and Gabriel Hemery look back at the research carried out and the practical lessons learnt in improving hardwood forestry by the Northmoor Trust in Oxfordshire.
Common walnut (Juglans regia L.) is usually grown in pure stands or as individual trees, rather than within mixed woodlands. Previous studies indicate that walnut can benefit from being planted in mixed stands, particularly with nitrogen-fixing (N-fixing) species. The effects of establishing walnut with various combinations of tree and shrub nurse species were investigated, including those capable of fixing nitrogen. After 6 years, walnut survival exceeded 99 per cent. Tree nurses did not significantly effect walnut growth; however, walnut height growth with autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb.) was significantly greater (P < 0.05), with an average increment of 17 cm year–1 across all sites at year six and 32 cm year–1 at one site at year seven. The architecture (height, width and estimated volume) of Corylus avellana L. and E. umbellata had a significant positive (P < 0.05) effect on walnut height. Foliar nitrogen levels for walnuts with at least one N-fixing nurse were within the reported optimal range, whereas those walnuts in control plots were deficient in nitrogen. Walnut trees grown with E. umbellata also had fewer multiple stems and finer branches. The results indicate that there are significant early benefits from establishing walnut with E. umbellata.
Valuable broadleaved tree species are important across Europe; economically, environmentally and culturally. Independent approaches to supporting and developing this valuable resource across the different countries of Europe has meant that knowledge and experience is widely dispersed and often inaccessible to a wider audience. COST Action E42 brought together more than 100 forestry scientists and practitioners from 25 countries to share their expertise and experience in growing and caring for valuable broadleaves trees and forests in Europe.
Autumn olive is a potential companion species for use in growing quality broadleaves in mixtures. Jo Clark and Gabriel Hemery describe its physiological and silvicultural characteristics, and its role as a successful nurse species. Some early lessons from UK plantings are presented.
Forestry has never been as high on our political agenda as at present. Ambitious climate change targets set by government mean more trees are needed to sequester carbon, to contain carbon in timber construction, and to use woody biomass as fuel. Trees undoubtedly play an important role in green energy targets but are some of these roles conflicting? Can we provide enough fibre for biomass and for traditional panel and timber use? Can afforestation targets be met if windfarm development is causing the removal of woodlands? Over 160 delegates attended the Civic Centre in Newcastle Upon Tyne to hear both UK and international speakers try to answer these questions and set out their views on how our sector can contribute to the huge energy demand that the UK will face as our traditional energy sources diminish.
There is growing interest in widening public participation in research and practice in environmental decision making and an awareness of the importance of framing research questions that reflect the needs of policy and practice. The Top Ten Questions for Forestry (T10Q) project was undertaken in 2008 to investigate a process for compiling and prioritizing a meaningful set of research questions, which were considered by participating stakeholders to have high policy relevance, using a collaborative bottom-up approach involving professionals from a wide set of disciplines of relevance to modern forestry. Details are presented of the process, which involved an online survey and a workshop for participants in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Survey responses were received from 481 researchers, policy makers and woodland owners, who contributed 1594 research questions. These were debated and prioritized by 51 people attending the workshop. The project engaged people who were outside the traditional boundaries of the discipline, a trend likely to be more important in the future, particularly in the light of complex problems connected with climate change, bioenergy production or health and well-being, for example, which require multidisciplinary partnerships within the research and policy communities. The project demonstrated the potential for combining web-based methods and focussed group discussions to collect, debate and prioritize a large number of researchable questions considered of importance to a broad spectrum of people with an active interest in natural resource management.
Gillian Petrokofsky, Gabriel Hemery and Nick D. Brown explain how you can take part in a project that is giving the people a chance to secure a future for Britain’s trees, woods and forests.
Gabriel Hemery MICFor imagines looking back from forty years in the future and charts the path to a sustainable forestry sector.
Policies and institutional attitudes towards the growing of broadleaves for quality timber have diverged between England and Scotland. Rick Worrell and Gabriel Hemery highlight the oddly different approaches in the two countries and issue a challenge to owners to take better control in the destiny of the forestry sector.
Gerry Lawson MICFor and Gabriel Hemery MICFor summarise a report they co-authored for the Land Use Policy Group focussing on the challenges that globalisation presents for European and UK forestry.
A response on the England Forestry Strategy consultation. England’s trees, woods and forests face three key challenges: 1. The needs to increase the asset value of the growing resource; 2. The ratio of conservation outputs to inputs needs to be enhanced; 3. England’s environmental footprint needs to be reduced. The depression in the forest industry seems to extend beyond timber prices. Improvements are required for: production to play a role, a better evidence-base, and greater vision. By continuing to focus on non-market benefits and being led by short-term policy, the industry is in danger of failing to meet any of these challenges.
Private land owners hold the balance of power in meeting the challenges of environmental change to the UKâ€™s forests and woodlands. Woodland managers will need courage to take informed risks and make bold decisions to ensure our woodlands can thrive in the future. Nine out of ten woodland managers have experienced environmental change in recent years, yet less than half believe the UKâ€™s forests will be affected in future.
This survey was a collaborative initiative between the Sylva Foundation and the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, which permitted the inclusion and update of a long-standing survey of a targeted group of large estates in England & Wales. The aim was to gain insights into: the extent to which woodland owners felt they understood the principles of sustainable forest management (SFM) the activities that woodland owners carry out that could be categorised as SFM the identification of barriers to SFM as perceived by woodland owners. An advisory group was established to help shape the survey and promote it to the sector. The online survey, involving 76 questions, attracted 2,600 responses, representing more than 7% of the woodland area in Britain outside of Forestry Commission ownership
The 2008 National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Foresters tackled the role of carbon in forest management and policy direction. Carbon management is a complex subject and one that needs continued research support. The conference highlighted that there is a clear role for forestry in a carbon-lean future and that opportunities are there if the sector is bold enough to grasp them.