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Taking action together to create woodlands that are resilient to climate change

31 July 2015

  • New woodland planting
  • Chavasse Park, Liverpool
The Mersey Forest has joined organisations across the forestry sector in agreeing to take action to secure more resilient woodlands to benefit business and wildlife in a changing climate.

Commitments made include supplying and growing a greater diversity of tree species as well as considering the provenance of seed to give the forests of the future the greatest chance of continuing to provide the many benefits they do, particularly in the face of damaging pests and diseases that may be a greater threat in a changed climate.


There will be more sharing of skills and experiences from woodland managers. Different ways of managing woodland for timber, such as Continuous Cover Forestry, will be expanded. This is a system of forestry that avoids felling entire woodlands of trees of the same age and has benefits including providing shade, cooling, improved drainage and weather shelter.


Paul Nolan, Director, The Mersey Forest, said:


"Trees can help to protect us from climate change by reducing and removing carbon from the atmosphere and help us adapt by providing cooling and shade. That positive benefit from woodland can only take place if we refine how we design, plant, and manage trees and woodlands so that they can withstand and thrive in future climates."


Mike Seville, Forestry & Woodland Adviser, Countryside Landowners Association said:


"The forestry, agriculture and land use sector has significant opportunities to contribute to climate change mitigation but at the same time is one of the most exposed to climate impacts.

"The CLA has been pleased to be part of this important initiative to embed adaptation to climate change into woodland management nationally. We urge all woodland owners and managers to lend their support to the accord statement produced by the group and to let their views be known by completing the online survey".


Environment Minister Rory Stewart added:


"Building our resilience to climate change is important for everyone. That's why we developed the first National Adaptation Programme report setting out actions for government, businesses, local councils and communities.

"It's crucial we take the changing climate into account in all our decision making and I congratulate the forestry industry on these proposals. By ensuring we manage our woodlands carefully and plant more diverse species we can improve the resilience of our forests and safeguard them from the risks posed by climate change."


Forestry professionals, including woodland owners and managers, agents, tree nursery businesses, and foresters, are being asked for their assessment on how well the sector is adapting to environmental change.


The British Woodland Survey 2015, funded by the Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust and hosted by the Sylva Foundation, is now live online and preliminary findings are expected to be revealed in early October.


The final results will inform the government's second National Adaptation Programme report and will support forestry businesses as they make changes to adapt their businesses.


Read more about The Mersey Forest's work on climate change

Related documents:
Combating climate change: a role for UK forests
15 January 2013
An assessment of the potential of the UKs trees and woodlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change. By Susannah Gill and J Handley
pdf iconView Gill, Susannah & Handley J. - Ch 10 Woodlands helping society to adapt.pdf PDF document (9.78 MB)
Planning for Green Infrastructure: Adapting to Climate Change
15 January 2013
Planning for Green Infrastructure: Adapting to Climate Change. By Susannah Gill, John Handley, Roland Ennos and Paul Nolan
pdf iconView Gill, Susannah et al - Ch 19 Planning for Green Infrastructure.pdf PDF document (5.42 MB)

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