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Occasional Paper
G.C. Barnes (Ed.)
The paper explores the contribution that science has made to forestry and woodland management and looks at the scientific prospects and limitations for the future. It explains the reasons why Britain has become so low in self-sufficiency of wood products and charts the steps successive Governments have taken to change this, starting with the creation of the Forestry Commission in 1919. Despite the fact that afforestation in Britain has been deliberately limited to relatively poor and inhospitable sites mainly in the uplands, the paper acknowledges the remarkable achievements of research in solving the practical problems of establishing new forests on such poor types of land. It indicates that in more recent years greater emphasis has been given to research that seeks to improve the quality and yield of timber while at the same time combating pests and diseases, improving manpower productivity and taking account of the increasing awareness of the importance of woods and forests in environmental terms. In looking at the future of forestry research, the paper addresses the difficult question of assessing the likely priorities bearing in mind the uniqueness of the crop. It suggests that the trend towards more fundamental research will continue and speculates that the fields which are most likely to hold the greatest potential for enhancing forest resources in future will be tree growth — including advances in molecular biology; environmental factors — including research on broadleaves, pests and diseases and soil as well as the effects of afforestation on water, wildlife and the landscape; and research on projects arising from possible land use changes in agriculture — which will hinge on political decisions by Government. The paper concludes that the overriding prescription for progress is to ensure that people of vision and energy are chosen to lead and conduct research programmes and then given as much freedom as management’s accountability will allow.
190 x 245mm | 70 pages | black and white
Stock code:FCOP016

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