We asked woodland experts for ideas to help Britain's forests grow
Broadly speaking, we all want 'more trees' but there's plenty of discussion about the best way forward.
Tom & Charly visit woodlands to meet experts and discuss trees and timber, woods and woodland. They look at forest management and resilient woodlands; they 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; and look at agroforestry, sustainable forestry, biodiversity and the trees in a rewilding landscape.
Each guest suggested an in idea to help Britain's forests grow.
Many thanks to all our guests for taking part in this series.
Filmed 2019 - 2021. More to come in 2022.
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 Clarke 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 Darlington 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.
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