Government Minister and top scientist see the science in the trees

Catching up with the range of work that Forest Research carries out into climate change, resource management and human and ecological sciences

News from Forest Research: September 2010

Professor Sir John Beddington, Government’s Chief Scientist, September 2010In two separate visits, Lord Henley, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Defra, and Professor Sir John Beddington, the Government’s Chief Scientist (pictured right), caught up with the range of work that Forest Research carries out into climate change, resource management and human and ecological sciences.

Peter Freer-Smith, the Forestry Commission’s Chief Scientist, said:

“The current threats from climate change and tree pests and diseases mean it’s more important than ever that British forestry is underpinned by a sound scientific base. These threats apply equally to trees being grown for timber or to conserve nature.”

Lord Henley and Professor Sir John Beddington both received full briefings on the status of current pest and disease threats, focusing on two high-profile diseases – acute oak decline and the spread of Phytophthora ramorum to larch – both of which are causing concern in the forestry sector.

Lord Henley was particularly interested in our work on biosecurity issues and the scale of the current threats to UK forests.

Professor Beddington especially enjoyed his visit to our Straits flux station. He said it was an excellent visit and has asked for regular updates on a number of our programmes, such as carbon modelling.

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