Trees and forests in British society

Conference organised by Forest Research that explored the demands that society places on forestry and the role it is expected to play

News from Forest Research: June 2010

Delegates visiting Easterhouse in GlasgowThis April saw more than 120 delegates attend the conference ‘Trees and forests in British society’ organised by Forest Research. The event highlighted how much social science research has developed since the last conference in 2001 and reflected on the wealth of experience from ten years of forestry related research undertaken by Forest Research’s Social and Economic Research Group.

Speakers and participants came from Europe and the UK, representing many different sectors of the forestry community. This brought an exciting variety of views to the event as delegates debated the new roles that forestry plays in a changing Britain.

Emerging issues included: the significant body of evidence showing the range of well-being benefits from trees and woods, which can be translated into real savings for the health service; the need for more convincing economic models and evaluation frameworks to assess and integrate the aesthetic and cultural values of woods and forests into planning for energy, green infrastructure, and community and urban development; and evidence that public participation in forest governance has increased dramatically partly due to the influence of the community forestry and community woodland movements.

The conference closed with a visit to Easterhouse in Glasgow to look at one of Forestry Commission Scotland’s ‘Woods In and Around Towns’ sites. The visit aimed to understand the development of green infrastructure and urban forestry to improve local landscapes and quality of life in post-industrial and socially challenging areas.


A summary of the conference can be found at: www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/treesandsociety. The presentations shown will be added to the conference summary shortly.

For proceedings of the previous conference in 2001 see: Trees are company (PDF-2500K)

See the new Social and Economic Research Group research summary: Trees and forests in British society - Ten years of social science (PDF-K)

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This and other news stories can be found in the June 2010 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.