This programme covers a range of manual and mechanised establishment operations including ground preparation, drainage, planting, protection and weeding and aims to:
- Assess methods and provide operational guidance, in relation to existing and developing guidance and policies
- Minimise the environmental impact of establishment and maintenance operations
- Improve knowledge about the carbon balance implications of establishment and maintenance operations.
The main research objectives are to:
- Identify operational performance criteria to directly seed areas, achieving sowing density and depth as prescribed by existing guidance and successful germination and establishment
- Investigate pesticide issues to maximise performance and operator health and safety whilst minimising environmental impact
- Provide data and factual information to inform the development if carbon balance assessment tools
- Assess the suitability of different types of ground preparation for different site conditions, including steep ground
- Collect data on fallow ground management for Hylobius control.
Funders and partners
This research is funded primarily by the Forestry Commission Sustainable Management Programme Advisory Group and is performed by Forest Research Technical Development.
Forestry Commission policy
One objective of the Forestry Commission is to support the Government's policy of sustainable forest management. This includes enhancing the economic value of forests and woodland resources, minimising the effects of operations on the environment and the protection of the health and safety of the workforce.
Appropriate ground preparation, drainage and protection are important elements in the creation of woodlands enabling sustainable management to be achieved through the best silvicultural practices.
Ongoing work includes:
- Pesticide management
- Ground preparation on steep slopes
- Ground management in relation to sustainability issues
- Direct seeding
- Hylobius control and ground preparation associated with Hylobius fallow ground prescriptions.
- Ground preparation: Colin Saunders
- Pesticide use: Bill J Jones
- Hylobius and direct seeding: Finlay McAllister