New native woodlands are often the desired objective of schemes to create new woodlands, but methods of establishment are not always predictable.
The use of innovative planting designs and species choices was suggested in Creating New Native Woodlands (PDF-92K). Establishment usually occurs by planting but the use of natural regeneration to enrich existing new plantations, or create them beside mature woodlands, has been also recommended. This process of secondary succession is well known and follows the invasion of unwooded land by tree seeds that germinate and grow to create woodland. This process of natural colonisation is little understood, unpredictable, and difficult to manage.
Experimental work has studied the following:
- Surveys of the Broadbalk and Geescroft wildernesses of Rothamsted Experimental Station
- New Native Woodland demonstration plots
- Natural colonisation of abandoned land.
Experimental results and advice are available in several publications.