New guide to help forest managers adapt woodlands for climate change published

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A new guide setting out how landowners and managers can adapt their woodlands in the face of climate change has been published by the Forestry Commission, Scottish Forestry, Natural Resources Wales and the Northern Ireland Forest Service.

The UK Forestry Standard Practice Guide ‘Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate’ outlines the steps that can be taken to foster woodlands which will be resilient to current and future threats as a result of climate change, such as drought, changing weather patterns and more frequent, severe weather events.

Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir William Worsley commented on the announcement: “The woodlands of the future need to be planted and managed differently if they are to be resilient to our changing climate.

“By planting a more diverse range of tree species in the right place and in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard, we can foster healthy and thriving treescapes across the country.

“This new Guide will help land managers protect our precious woodlands and ensure their resilience for years to come.”

Woodland creation is an important part of the wider adaptation of society to climate change, as forests and woodlands can provide shade and shelter, give flood protection, and reduce both air pollution and soil erosion. Growing trees removes carbon dioxide from the air, stores the carbon in wood products throughout their life and helps manage the risk of flooding.

The Guide has been produced by Forest Research, part of the Forestry Commission and Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research.

The new guide was unveiled as part of National Plant Health Week (9-15 May), with other announcements including launch of the Forest Research Holt Laboratory and the Centre for Forest Protection, both of which will conduct innovative research into tree pests and diseases, as well as ways to manage emerging threats from climate change.

The UKFS Practice Guide to ‘Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate’ can be downloaded free of charge from the Forest Research online publications catalogue.