Forestry sector takes action for resilient woodlands

Trees surrounded by flood water following heavy rain.  In response to the challenges for forestry and woodlands posed by our changing climate, a group of leading forestry sector organisations, including Forest Research, have come together to initiate a call to the sector to provide a secure future for our forests, woods and trees. An agreement between the organisations, set out in an Accord explains their commitment to helping secure the long-term health of our forests and woodlands, and to protect and improve the benefits provided by them.

To accompany the Accord, Forest Research, and other organisations have produced 'Adaptation in Action' statements to explain their individual views on climate change adaptation and highlight the work they are doing which will help our forests, woodlands and trees cope with environmental change.

Forest Research activities include participation in national and international trials of new species to find out what grows best in climates that may be ours in the future, long-running forest environmental monitoring to detect and understand environmental changes and associated risks, and the continuing development of tools such as Ecological Site Classification and ForestGALES to help forest managers make decisions that will increase the resilience of their woodlands. We continue to develop close working relationships between scientists and the forestry sector to ensure the latest scientific thinking on improving resilience is shared and integrated.

To help understand progress in the sector, forestry professionals including woodland owners and managers, agents, tree nursery businesses, and foresters, are being asked for their assessment of how resilient the forestry sector is to climate change and other challenges like pests and diseases. The British Woodland Survey funded by the Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust and hosted by the Sylva Foundation, is now live on-line – take part before the 15th September!

The information gathered by the survey will be used by organisations and businesses to help them adapt to change, and by policy makers and researchers to help them improve the resilience of the nation's forests. A full report will be published and made freely available.

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