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Delivering resilient forests

This programme will undertake high quality science in order to develop practical solutions for delivering more resilient forests. It will focus on how to deliver resilience on the ground, rather than on assessing or understanding what resilience is, because those are topics that will be covered in programmes 1 and 2.


The programme will produce recommendations on:

  • What tree species and provenances to use to improve forest resilience and create resilient forests.
  • How to best propagate, establish, deploy and demonstrate those species and provenances.
  • How to reduce impacts on critical elements of the wider forest ecosystem such as soil, water and protected species.
  • How to manage biotic threats to forest resilience.
  • How to improve the resilience of urban forests.
  • How to understand the social acceptability of management practices that would deliver improved forest resilience.

Innovation potential

The programme will develop a range of innovative approaches to help deliver the resilient forests of the future including, among others:

  • A resilient forest simulation and planning tool.
  • Guidance on minimising the impact of afforestation and whole tree harvesting.
  • Guidance on the management of riparian woodlands.
  • A spatial decision tool for managing protected species.
  • Guidance on the use of alternative silvicultural techniques such as underplanting and mixed species stands to improve forest resilience.
  • Techniques for improving efficiency of plant production such as imbibition-drying-separation and x-ray photography.
  • Guidance on improving the propagation of emerging species.
  • Guidance on novel regeneration methods for improved resilience such as deployment of emerging species the use of nurse species, stand enrichment and direct seeding.
  • Landscape scale, on the ground demonstrations of how to achieve resilient forest management in practice.
  • Improved web guidance on the silvicultural suitability of emerging species and of provenance selection for future climates.
  • Identifying Chalara tolerant ash genotypes.
  • Comprehensive guidance on the integrated, practical management of all major pest, weeds and diseases affecting UK forestry.
  • Improving biological control products for Heterobasidion annosum.
  • Aerial spraying and silvicultural approaches for managing Dothistroma needle blight.
  • Novel approaches to grey squirrel management such as the use of pine martens.
  • An improved online tool for managing damaging hylobius populations.
  • Guidance on improving stakeholder engagement to achieve resilient forest management.
  • Guidance on good practice to improve the social acceptability of pest management.
  • A multidisciplinary tool for urban forestry species selection.
  • Apps, online tools and citizen science to investigate, diagnose and advise on tree disorders.
  • Maintaining biosecurity by horizon scanning and analysis of pest and disease risks from beyond the UK.

Work packages

WP1 - Planning and management to deliver forest ecosystem service resilience
The main aim of this multidisciplinary work package is to develop practical tools to help deliver forest resilience, while maintaining ecosystem services and biodiversity.

WP2 - Silviculture and Resilient Forests
The main aim of this multidisciplinary work package is to provide practical guidance on how to design, cultivate and manage adaptive, resilient and productive woodlands.

WP3 - Species and Resilient Forests
The main aim of this work package is to provide practical guidance on the species and provenances we should be growing for increased forest resilience.

WP4 - Integrated weed, pest and disease management
The main aim of this multidisciplinary work package is to develop practical control measures for damaging pests, diseases and weeds, including the use of pesticides.

WP5 - Resilient urban forests
The main aim of this work package is to provide the knowledge and practical advice for the creation and delivery of resilient urban forests.

WP6 - Managing biotic threats
The main aim of this work package is to provide practical advice for forest managers on identifying, preventing and managing biotic threats, to help maintain resilient trees and forests.

Last updated: 2nd August 2016