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The EU-funded ForeStClim project, which The Mersey Forest worked on from 2008 to 2014, explored how trees and woodlands can be managed in the face of climate change threats. This is important to ensure that they continue to provide a range of benefits to people, wildlife and the economy, including mitigating climate change and helping society adapt to its consequences.

Managing trees and woodlands in the face of climate change threats
Trees and woodlands face a range of climate change threats, for example from increased drought, water-logging, fires, and changing pests and diseases. We explored current woodland management practices and how these may be affected by climate change.


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Providing a range of benefits
While it's important to manage climate change threats, this isn't the only consideration when managing trees and woodlands, as trees are an important component of our wider green infrastructure and deliver a wide range of other benefits. One of these benefits is the well-documented link between the natural environment and mental health, and as part of ForeStClim, we focussed on developing the evidence base linking trees and woodlands to improvements in mental health and wellbeing through our Natural Health Service programme.


In some instances, there may be trade-offs between managing woodlands for specific benefits. Through this project, we've been able to test approaches to support management decisions where there may be competing aims, and use this to communicate the trade-offs with diverse stakeholders. For example, this work has fed into a revised management plan for the Sefton Coast woodlands.


Mitigating climate change and helping society adapt to its consequences
An important benefit of trees and woodlands is that they help to mitigate climate change and adapt society to its consequences. Our work has developed Wood Allotments, which provide a source of firewood for local communities, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change.


We have also developed the Urban Catchment Forestry programme to promote the use of urban trees and woodlands to manage water quality and quantity, both challenges in a changing climate.


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Transnational working
Throughout the project we have worked with the other ForeStClim partners from across Europe to learn from and share experiences and approaches. This has greatly strengthened the project. For example, The Mersey Forest is now "Climate Twinned" with Pays de Redon in Brittany, and area which projections suggest has a similar climate to what we may experience in the future.


Spreading the word
A key focus for the project was raising awareness about this work with different sectors and audiences. Many events and seminars were held to reach a range of audiences, from landowners to key decision-makers. We also engaged the wider community, including schools, businesses, community groups, and individuals, through tree planting and events. A number of photography exhibitions were staged as part of this ongoing communication. 


























Related documents:
ForeStClim Climate Twins
27 March 2012
Progress report on the idea of Climate Twins, part of the work that is taking place due to transnational cooperation within the ForeStClim project.
docx iconView ForeStClim Climate Twins.docx ForeStClim Climate Twins (4.32 MB)
ForeStClim Silviculture assessments
30 March 2012
Created as a result of the transnational ForestClim consortium, this document focuses on Sefton Coast Pine Woodlands, one of The Mersey Forest study areas for this project.
pdf iconView ForeStClim Silviculture assessments.pdf ForeStClim Silviculture assessments (3.00 MB)
Transnational study exchange: ForeStClim visit to Germany and France, November 2014
28 November 2014
Summarises a study exchange by The Mersey Forest team to Speyer in Germany and Redon in france. The purpose of the visit was to maximise opportunities for transnational collaboration, building on work that has taken place during the ForeStClim project,...
pdf iconView Transnational study exchange - Germany & France Nov 2014.pdf PDF (3.87 MB)

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