Following a journey into the multifunctional forest landscape of deep Limousin countryside, (blog to come), it was heartening to read several reports on my return with regards UK forestry.
2 are yet to be published, but one pleasantly surprised me and showed a promising change of direction by the Woodland Trust, (as hinted at by Gabriel Hemery in the last blog post comments thread here).
Collaboration and talking across the broad spectrum of interests is not as original as described by the WT’s Sian Atkinson’ accompanying blog, the original Save Our Woods (SOW) team having used this technique to forage out the axioms with regards UK forestry and one of the reasons I was attracted to helping them with many others. But this is a faultless report and very useful.
There is more on the horizon, including in March, 2012, important information with regards urban trees, their current state and future proposals, (making up for the lack of much information on this vital topic thus far integrated into publications, reports and elsewhere).
The independent Forestry Panel preliminary findings are due out at the end of next week and I actually look forward to reading them.
I do fear an over emphasis on new planting will belay the risks associated with planting in diverse and complex locations as found in the UK, but then this is a secondary issue to securing the initial challenge of finding the funding for protecting existing trees let alone funding new planting. But some of the ongoing work underway by SOW and others is set to help with this, including one very exciting project to be unveiled soon, which will go some way in redressing the balance with regards the present lack of a decent voice from UK land management practitioners.
For the first time in this International Year of Forests, I feel optimism for the trees and woodlands of the UK as well as for the security of the Forestry and Arboricultural industry itself, despite the recent, rather daft decision by the Welsh Assembly to create a super Quango out of the FC Wales, EA Wales and CC Wales, which is likely to affect funding for the industry itself and possibly channel much needed resources away from Forest Research.