With so many good reasons to plant trees why is the progress so slow? To find out what might be holding back woodland creation in the UK, we sought out those people involved in establishing large scale woodland creation schemes (or at least trying to do so). We asked them to explain some of the factors and issues involved.
We've covered a wide range of perspectives on planting trees since the series began in 2019. In 2023 we talked with Harriet Bell of Riverford Farm, about Agroforestry and what's holding it back. This film was launched at the first #AgroforestryShow, hosted by the The Woodland Trust and The Soil Association.
In the summer of 2023, we released a film with The Woodland Trust discussing challenges and opportunities for UK woodland creation. Many thanks to Nick Phillips for being so generous with his time and expertise.
Why plant trees in rewilding projects? We talked to Alastair Driver of Rewilding Britain, about a huge tree planting project as part of a rewilding scheme in Yorkshire.
Series One was filmed 2019 - 2021.
Series Two launched in 2022.
Tom & Charly visit woodlands to meet experts to discuss the future for British trees, timber, woods and woodland.
They look at forest management and resilient woodlands; discuss how to value the health benefits of trees; consider "woodland culture" and small woodland management; find out about the research work of the Future Trees Trust. The series looks at agroforestry, sustainable forestry, biodiversity and the trees in a rewilding landscape.
Many thanks to all our guests for taking part.
Series Two animations by Robin Lane Roberts
A five minute film of expert suggestions to help our forests grow. In the run-up to COP26, hosted in the UK. we collated ideas from a range of perspectives to help our forests thrive.
Filmed in May 2021 at the Bathurst estate, with forest manager Graham Taylor MBE, of Pryor & Rickett. Generations of forest management at Bathurst has resulted in a productive woodland of exceptionally tall straight trees. Graham says that active woodland management boosts biodiversity, as well as delivering valuable timber.
Featuring the Future Trees Trust, this episode looks at research to find the best genetic materials and test seed sources for future forests. Dr Jo Clark explains the process of studying how families of trees grow in different settings, and selecting the genetic material for new trees that are most likely to grow and thrive.
We visit Vallis Veg, an eco-friendly smallholding in Somerset, and find out how planting trees has benefited their farmland. Chris and Cordelia have established an eco-farm and wild campsite on former agricultural land. Planting trees on their farm has provide multiple benefits, including providing a space for Shared Earth Learning forest school. Chris Smaje is the author of 'Small Farm Future'.
At the Hillyfield Woodland farm, small woodland owner Doug King Smith explains some of the challenges in restoring small woodlands. Problems with diseases and pests and issues with the planning system have not been easy to deal with, but Hillyfield is now considered a "first class case study" in small woodland management.
Dr Gabriel Hemery of the Sylva Foundation discusses 'Woodland Culture' and how society relates to woods and woodland. He calls for all children to have access to Forest School and discusses the work going on at the Sylva Wood Foundation, to help people and trees grow together.
At the Dartington estate, we talk to forester Jez Ralph, Director of Timber Strategies about the history of forestry in the UK, and what the term 'resilient woodland' means. He discusses the benefits of mixed planting, and how to create resilient woodlands in a changing climate.
Dougal Driver, CEO of Grown in Britain, talks about how British woodland can produce timber, "an amazing material" for low carbon construction, and he outlines the processes and benefits of woodland management.
Tom Barnes is managing director and 4th generation owner of Vastern Timber, sawmills that specialise in processing British grown timber. He hopes future generations can continue to work with locally grown wood. Tom says UK woodlands are in peril, maybe at a tipping point, but there's an opportunity to captialise on the political will and public interest to 'plant more trees' and begin a period of great afforestation.
This film collates 12 suggestions, from the experts we met in series one. Produced for COP26 in 2021.
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