CCFG National Conference 2014
Continuous Cover Forestry – Delivering Sustainable and Resilient Woodlands in Britain

Braithwaite Institute, Braithwaite near Keswick, Cumbria
3 & 4 June 2014

Background And Theme

The goals of the conference were to:

  • Present latest developments in CCF management systems, especially focusing on the potential of CCF to promote sustainability and resilience.
  • Demonstrate examples of CCF in practice, under a range of management objectives.
  • Identify future measures that could result in wider adoption of CCF in Britain including consideration of aspects relevant to research and policy.

The conference attracted 140 participants from across the British Isles and from North America. Presenters included leading researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. The programme comprised both plenary sessions and site visits to Wythop and Thirlemere Forests, with technical presentations taking place in the two woodlands. There was also an optional third day of site visits to the western Lakes.

Programme, Talks and Presentations

Menu of CCFG National Conference 2014 Content:

  • 2014 Conference Information– the original proposal document which sets out the context and themes of the conference.
  • Research Poster Display – posters of 8 research projects which were on display in the Conference premises, 4 of which were winners of a student poster award funded by the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2014 Conference Resources – the outputs from the conference: pdfs of speaker presentations (some also in MP4 format); conference report; photographs.


We are grateful to the Forestry Commission for providing funding for the conference report and these web pages, enabling presentations and discussion from the conference to be made available to a wider audience.

Thanks also to the Scottish Forestry Trust for their support for the conference, including funding our visiting Keynote Speaker, Klaus Puettmann, Professor of Silvicultural Alternatives, Oregon State University.

We would like to thank the Local Organising Committee and in particular Ted Wilson, who worked tirelessly to present an excellent programme and make the conference such a success, and the speakers, volunteers, delegates and many others who contributed in so many ways.

Our thanks too to all our partners and sponsors who supported the conference with both generous donations and/or in kind.


Forestry is undergoing a period of profound change and reassessment. At the forefront of our thinking is recognition that many current practices need to be adapted in response to global climate change and the growing number of threats to forest health. We need new strategies for adding value and new market-led solutions for delivery of ecosystem services, while also diversifying the species and structure of our productive forest estate.

Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) is now recognised as an important approach that has the potential to create diverse, resilient and robust forest systems. However, the transformation from largely even-aged stands in Britain to more complex and irregular structures remains a challenging area of professional practice. There is continuing demand for a stronger evidence-base and practical demonstration of CCF systems.

The CCFG National Conference in 2014 will bring together leading practitioners, the forestry profession and the wider natural resources community to discuss experience and latest developments in CCF. We will visit champion woodlands and forests that demonstrate the potential of CCF systems to deliver viable futures in terms of timber, recreation, environmental quality and a wide range of other ecosystem services.

Conference Goals

  • Present latest developments in CCF management systems, especially focusing on the potential of CCF to promote sustainability and resilience
  • Demonstrate examples of CCF in practice, under a range of management objectives
  • Identify future research and policy priorities for wider adoption of CCF in Britain
  • Establish a forum for discussion of market-led approaches

Conference Themes

  1. Ecosystems services – using CCF to integrate multiple function and values of woodlands, including timber, recreation, conservation and environmental quality.
  2. Ecological resilience and climate adaptation – demonstrating the importance of diverse species and structures.
  3. Monitoring and management approaches – tools for informing decision-making and measuring progress towards management objectives.
  4. Learning and skills – identifying opportunities and challenges for future best practice.
  5. Timber quality and value – enhancing value and outputs through designed stand interventions.

Who Should Attend

  • The conference is open to anyone with a passion for sustainable forestry in Britain. The conference will be of value to forestry leaders, influencers, researchers, practitioners and woodland owners concerned with the changes necessary to enhance the resilience of woodlands and deliver ecosystem services in Britain.
  • Forestry and Natural Resources students are also very welcome to attend the conference. There will be a dedicated poster session for the presentation of projects and research. There are also provisions being made for sponsorship of several student places at the conference, thanks to generous support from the Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Edinburgh. For more information please contact Ted Wilson.

Conference Essentials

  • The Dates: The plenary and parallel conference sessions will take place on Tuesday 3rd June and Wednesday 4th June 2014. In addition, a full-day study tour will take place on Thursday 5th June 2014.
  • Speakers and Presenters: Speakers at the conference will include national and international leaders in the science, ecology and practice of CCF.
  • Location: The main conference will be held at the Victory Memorial Hall, Braithwaite Institute, Braithwaite, Cumbria CA12 5TH, which is located near Keswick, Cumbria (see Conference Map below).
  • The Field Trips: The following champion forests will be visited as part of the programme:
    1. Wythop Wood, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria. Impressive mature conifer and mixed-broadleaf woodlands managed by Forestry Commission England. Douglas fir stands dating from the early 1920s are being transformed through a range of techniques, and employing a range of conifer and broadleaf species. The site has an established set of permanent sample plots and is monitored on a regular cycle. Wythop Wood is part of the Forestry Commission’s National Network of CCF Demonstration Areas.
    2. Thirlmere Forest, Thirlmere Reservoir, Cumbria. Owned and managed by United Utilities plc, these woods surround Thirlmere Reservoir, which is the major source of drinking water for Greater Manchester. The primary objectives are water and environmental quality, timber production and wildlife conservation (including red squirrel).
    3. CCF Woodlands in West Cumbria. On Day 3 of the conference we are planning a study tour to Blengdale and Miterdale Forests, located in remote valleys in West Cumbria. Large stands of mature Douglas fir and other conifers are being transformed to CCF through a programme of thinning and stand interventions. A variety of approaches and issues will be addressed. This is a rare opportunity to visit some fascinating and unusual woodlands, each occupying a unique location within the Lake District National Park.

Conference Partners and Sponsors

  • We have secured generous support and sponsorship from across the forestry and natural resources sector to deliver the CCFG National Conference 2014.
  • Confirmed Partners and Sponsors of the CCFG National Conference 2014 include: The Scottish Forestry Trust; Forest Ecology Group, British Ecological Society; Forestry Commission Corporate Services; Forestry Commission Scotland; Forestry Commission England; Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Edinburgh; Woodland Heritage; A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products; United Utilities plc; Woodland Trust; National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria; Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru/Natural Resources Wales; Natural England; Lake District National Park; Tubex; Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), University of Birmingham.
  • Confirmed Supporters of the CCFG National Conference 2014 include: Forest Research; Institute of Chartered Foresters; Country Land and Business Association (CLA); School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGY), Bangor University; Cumbria Community Transport.

Accommodation and Transport

The main conference venue is located in the village of Braithwaite, approximately 2.4 miles from Keswick, Cumbria. Keswick and the surrounding area is a major visitor destination within the Lake District National Park and has accommodation to suit a wide range of preferences and budgets. Please note: delegates are asked to make their own accommodation arrangements while attending the conference.

  • Hotel and B&B accommodation: You can access hotel and B&B information for both Braithwaite and Keswick through most online booking services, and through the local website:
  • Youth Hostel: There is an excellent youth hostel (YHA) in Keswick that is close to shops and public services, and with excellent transport links to Braithwaite. Early booking is advised for those considering this option:
  • Camping: There are campsites in Keswick and near the conference venue in Braithwaite. We will also be able to provide a limited number of camping spaces at the conference site, which includes kitchen and washing facilities. Please note we are only able to accommodate tents. Further details will be provided shortly.
  • Driving to the Conference:

    • There are excellent transport links to the conference venue. The most direct route is via the M6 Motorway to Junction 40 (Penrith and the North Lakes). Exit and head west on the A66 for approximately 20 miles direct to Keswick and then on to Braithwaite. The conference venue is located adjacent to the A66, approximately 2.4 miles west of Keswick, Cumbria. There are excellent on-site parking facilities, with space for approximately 40 vehicles.

    Green Transport Options:

    • Rail travel. The closest mainline station is Penrith North Lakes. This is located on the West Coast Main Line and served by direct services to/from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Full booking information is available from National Rail Enquiries:
    • Bus travel. There is a regular and efficient bus service direct from Penrith North Lakes rail station to both Keswick and the conference venue in Braithwaite. Services X4 and X5 run between Penrith and Keswick. Service X5 continues on to Braithwaite. Further ticket and timetable information is available from Traveline Northeast and Cumbria:
    • Minivan Pickup. We are exploring the possibility of providing a minivan service from Penrith North Lakes rail station to Keswick and Braithwaite on Monday evening, 2nd June. Further details will be posted closer to the time of the conference.

Online Booking and Conference Registration

Non Member Delegate Prices:

  • Full Conference Fee – £195
  • Conference Study Tour Fee – £15 (includes packed lunch)

Member Delegate Prices:

  • CCFG members, please check your email for the discount code to obtain our great 21% reduction on the conference fee.
  • CCFG Member Conference Fee – £154.05
  • Conference Study Tour Fee – £11.85 (includes packed lunch)
Please note CCFG members will receive discount code email from CCFG administration (

Other Fees:

  • Conference Dinner (3rd June) – £30
  • Camping 2nd to 4th June (Flat rate fee per tent) – £20

Wow we are really sorry but our National Conference is sold out.

Pricing, Booking, and Contact Information

  • Full pricing for the conference can be downloaded here.
  • Get great member discounts by joining CCFG. To join now click here.
  • Regular updates and news about the conference will be posted on the CCFG Website, and via social media.
  • Please direct specific questions and requests to Gill Pemberton (CCFG Administrator),


  • Conference Programme Download here (PDF, 450 KB).Please note that the current version (23/02/14) contains the full list of speakers and talks, but is still subject to minor amendments.
  • Conference Poster Download here (PDF, 1.2 MB).
  • Conference Briefing Paper Download here (PDF, 750 KB). The briefing paper provides further information about the background, aims and objectives of the conference.
  • Conference Map Download here (PDF, 440 KB). The map shows the location of the conference hall and the forests included in the programme and study tour.

Conference Presentation

CCFG National Conference, 3-5 June 2014, Lake District National Park, England

Map of Conference Locations


The conference included a display of 8 research projects. 4 had been submitted by students and were the winning entries in a student poster award which was funded by a donation from the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, and 4 described research being undertaken in the wider forestry community. Each presentation consisted of an A1 poster and an abstract of no more than 250 words summarizing the project.

1. Andrew Glendinning
(student award)
Comparison of natural regeneration of Sitka spruce managed under different silviculture systems

2. Samuel Bristow
(student award)
Effect of light levels on regeneration within an upland ash woodland (NVC W9)

3. Gráinne Devlin
(student award)
Assessing the usefulness of profile diagrams as a forest and woodland management tool

4. Richard Deffee
(student award)
Irregular forest management using the AFI abbreviated inventory method at the Cranborne Estate

5. Christine Reid Potential ecological impacts of ash dieback

6. Andrew D. Cameron Determining the sustainable irregular condition: a study on a transformed irregular mixed species stand at Faskally Forest, Perthshire, Scotland

7. Phil Morgan and
Andy Poore
The AFI Network – GB & Ireland: monitoring irregular continuous cover forests

8. Sophie Hale,
Catia Arcangeli,
Tom Jenkins,
Mario Klopf,
Christopher Thurnher
and Hubert Hasenauer

MosesGB: a growth simulator for mixed age and mixed species forest stands in Britain View
9. Thomaz Andrade, Ryan Bowen, Rick Shakesbury, David Jenkins Effects of successive thinning and patch clear felling to water quality at the Upper Llwi reservoir, Wales View

Student Poster Award

A student poster competition was run in parallel to the Conference, and was funded by a generous donation from the School of GeoSciences, Institute of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University of Edinburgh.

The competition was open to undergraduate and postgraduate students, they could be full-time, part-time or distance learning, and on forestry, conservation or natural resources courses at any UK university or higher education college.

Entrants were to submit an abstract and then prepare a poster (A1 landscape size) on any aspect of CCF. The poster could describe research into CCF that the student had undertaken as part of their studies, or provide more general/technical information on any aspect of CCF. The abstract was to be no longer than 250 words and was assessed in terms of: relevance to CCF in Britain; clarity of goals and objectives; technical content and scope.

The assessors were Andrew Leslie (University of Cumbria), Dr. James Walmsley (Bangor University) and Russell Horsey (Institute of Chartered Foresters).

Each winner was given a conference delegate fee (valued at £145) and a travel bursary (£100) to enable them to attend the conference.

Displays and Abstracts


1. Comparison of Natural Regeneration of Sitka Spruce Managed under Different Silviculture Systems

Andrew D. Glendinning
Postgraduate, Distance Learning Student, Forestry, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University


Natural regeneration is considered one of the principles of continuous cover forestry management and its associated silvicultural systems. To aid UK forestry gain a better understanding of these alternative systems and how they might affect natural regeneration, the Clocaenog Continuous Cover Forestry Research Area, North Wales, was established in 2002. Chosen for its abundant Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) natural regeneration, the area was sub-divided into blocks where different silvicultural systems were implemented with interventions having occurred approximately every three years. This study set out to survey five of the Clocaenog research blocks (four under differing systems and one being a control block, where no interventions had occurred since 1999) using a systematic sampling approach. The survey design was created by the author and members of Forest Research using, as the basis, the Forestry Commission’s Monitoring the Transformation of Even-aged Stands to Continuous Cover Management and Carbon Assessment Protocol documents. The first aim of the study is to determine the significance of any differences in the density and height of the Picea sitchensis natural regeneration among the different silvicultural systems being implemented. The second aim is to determine the significance of any relationship between the characteristics of the natural regeneration and characteristics of the overstorey. The final aim of the study is to assess the carbon content of both the overstorey and understorey and identify differences in carbon content among silvicultural systems.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 1.0 MB]


2. Effect of Light Levels on Regeneration within Upland Ash Woodland (NVC W9)

Samuel Bristow
Undergraduate Student, Forest and Woodland Management,
National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria


F. excelsior is an iconic tree which has occupied the landscape of the British Isles since the last ice age but how does the transmittance of light through the canopy effect how this species regenerates? Predominantly F. excelsior woodlands cover over 120,000ha within Great Britain; this study shows how F. excelsior regenerates under different levels of light measured through the concept of canopy openness using hemispherical photography to generate canopy openness scores. The study also investigates the current crisis with the pathogen C. fraxinea, how it is going to affect F. excelsior and also what species is most likely to fill the niche which could open depending on the impact of C. fraxinea. The results of this study show that F. excelsior best regenerates under a canopy openness of 21.6%, this shows how F. excelsior is a relevantly shade tolerant species.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 4.2 MB]


3. Assessing the Usefulness of Profile Diagrams as a Forest Management Tool

Grainne Devlin
Undergraduate Student, Forest and Woodland Management,
National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria


An in-depth understanding of forest stand dynamics is essential for the successful and sustainable future management of our woodlands. There are a number of ways in which a manager strives to understand the structure of a woodland –usually through the use of text, tables and figures and it stands to reason that illustrative, visual communication by means of profile diagrams may be a very beneficial tool in enriching and assisting such understanding.

The study aims to determine how useful profile diagrams are to forest managers in aiding understanding of the structure of a woodland and consequent management decisions. This study aims to assess the efficiency of profile diagrams in communicating current woodland structure, their usefulness as tools for aiding management decisions, and also to establish whether or not the work necessary to produce diagrams is justifiable in relation to their usefulness.

Profile diagrams (60x10m), and data sheets (communicating information such as mean Dbh, Basal Area (m2; ha-1) and Volume (m3; ha-1)) were created for three woodlands. This information was then used to conduct semi-structured interviews with a number of forest management professionals, whereby comparisons could be made regarding the observations and management recommendations made from examining the data sheets against those made from examining the profile diagrams.

The study showed that profile diagrams do significantly enhance the level of understanding of stand dynamics when compared to numerical and verbal presentation of the same information, however from a general forest management perspective, they were perceived as being too time and labour intensive to justify their use in many contexts.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 2.6 MB]


4. Irregular Forest Management Using the AFI Abbreviated Inventory Method at the Cranborne Estate

Richard Deffee
Postgraduate, Distance Learning Student, Forestry,
Department of Natural Sciences and Geography, Bangor University


The transformation of even-aged stands to complex heterogeneous forest structures is a major challenge. Continual monitoring of changes in both space and time can aid in decision-making during interventions in the growing stock, inform development of optimal economic conditions, and assess achievements in meeting transformation targets. Sampling using fixed-area plots (Hamilton, 1975) has until now been the dominant monitoring strategy in UK forests. This study suggests that the inventory method developed by the Association Futaie Irrégulière (AFI), utilising plots based on the relascope principle, may be more efficient than fixed-area methods when monitoring irregular stand conditions.

The study site was a complex irregular broadleaf stand situated on the Cranborne Estate (Dorset). Fixed area and relascope-based plots were created and surveyed. Complete enumeration of the stand was also carried out to establish baseline data for comparing the accuracy of these methods for the three stand variables; stem density, basal area, and diameter class distribution.

The results showed that the AFI method produced detailed dendrometric data which could be applied to single tree models to determine economic optimisation and facilitate development of a sustainable irregular structure.

Fixed-area plots exhibited considerably larger uncertainty estimates for structure (especially for larger diameter trees), and larger between plot variance in basal area, than did AFI plots of a comparable scale. Moreover, it was shown that for a given labour input, the fixed-area method delivered an inadequate sample of large trees for a reliable estimate for increment under the continual inventory principle.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 3.0 MB]


5. Potential Ecological Impacts of Ash Dieback

Christine Reid
Natural England


Ash dieback (or ‘Chalara‘), is the fungal tree disease which is increasingly affecting ash (Fraxinus excelsior) across the UK. Ash trees are very important for a range of wildlife species and for native woodland ecology. How should we manage woodlands infected by ash dieback in ways that conserve their associated wildlife?

This project assesses the potential ecological impact of ash dieback on UK woodlands wildlife and investigates possible woodland management options which might ameliorate the problems caused.

In particular it:

  • Identifies the ecological function of ash (decomposition, litter quality, nutrient cycling) and of 11 alternative tree species that might replace ash, for comparison.
  • Identifies which wildlife species are associated with ash and how they use it;
  • Assesses the suitability of alternative tree species for ash associated wildlife;
  • Assesses changes in woodland species composition following infection with ash dieback, and develops management options.

The results have been used to develop case studies and tools for woodland managers for species selection and management options that conserve ash biodiversity.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 530 KB]


6. Determining the Sustainable Irregular Condition: a Study on a Transformed Irregular Mixed Species Stand at Faskally Forest, Perthshire, Scotland

Dr. Andrew D. Cameron
Department of Forestry
University of Aberdeen


AThe development of a mixed-species irregular stand in the latter stages of transformation was examined. Transformation of the stand, located in Faskally Forest, Scotland, began over 60 years ago and it is now managed under the selection system. The aim was to determine whether a sustainable irregular state has been reached based on a stable diameter distribution following harvesting interventions, sufficient regeneration and recruitment into the canopy of the desired species to maintain the distribution, relatively stable species composition in the main developmental stages (seedlings, saplings and canopy trees), and dispersal of these developmental stages throughout the transformation area. Complete inventories at 6-year intervals were carried out in a 1-ha permanent sample plot established in 1997. Results from the 2009 inventory suggest that the stand has not reached a sustainable irregular condition based on the above criteria. While the stand has a good dispersal of the main developmental stages, there has been a reduction in canopy tree number in the last harvesting intervention has slightly flattened the diameter distribution (q = 1.4 cf. 1.5 and 1.6 in 2003 and 1997 inventories, respectively). The reduction in overhead cover has increased the number of regenerating seedlings in the understorey and suggests that the stand is moving towards a more balanced structure. Not surprisingly, shade tolerating species are beginning to dominate the understorey. The next inventory takes place in 2015 when a better understanding of stand development will be possible, in particular the all-important level of recruitment into the canopy.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 700 KB]


7. The AFI Network – GB & Ireland Monitoring Irregular Continuous Cover Forests

Phillippe Morgan and Andy Poore
Association Futaie Irrégulière & SelectFor Ltd


The Association Futaie Irrégulière (AFI) is a leading organization of private forest owners, based in France, who have adopted continuous cover forest management systems. The association has established a network of research stands throughout western and northern Europe to monitor the development of uneven-aged forests. The network currently numbers over 100 stands, and is expanding to new territories and countries including Canada and the US. Each stand is monitored according to a common protocol recording dendrological and economic factors. Stands are selected on the basis of structure, species mix, site type, geographical distribution and regional characteristics. To date, the network has contributed over 40,000 records to a continuous cover database that is centrally maintained and managed, and used for meta-analysis. The protocol for stand assessment has proved to be robust and efficient, and has provided evidence of cost-effective delivery of quality timber and enables forest owners to quantify a range of ecosystem services. In addition, AFI also provides support to members with local research stands and projects, and in technical support with forest inventory. The AFI is affiliated to Pro Silva, the close-to-nature forestry association.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 2.0 MB]

  • More information on the AFI network was given out during Phil Morgan’s presentation during the site visit to Thirlmere Forest. Link to PDF   [PDF, 5.1 MB]


8. MosesGB: a Growth Simulator for Mixed Age and Mixed Species Forest Stands in Britain

Sophie Hale, Catia Arcangeli, Tom Jenkins, Mario Klopf,
Christopher Thurnher, Hubert Hasenauer,
Forest Research


Forests provide many ecosystem services e.g. timber, recreation, erosion control, biodiversity, jobs. The role of the traditionally-managed even-aged clearfell/restock spruce forests in Britain has predominantly been to provide timber, with associated jobs (many in rural areas).

A change of emphasis, to meet landscape and recreation as well, has resulted in corresponding changes in forest policy (UKWAS, country strategies, etc.). These have increased interest in alternative management approaches which can result in more forest stands of mixed age, species or structure. The existing growth and yield models for Britain, designed for even-aged forest management, are unsuited to predictions in these irregular stands.

MosesGB is a forest growth simulator for stands of mixed age and mixed species. Based on the Austrian simulator Moses, and initially adapted for Sitka spruce in Britain, MosesGB will be extended to incorporate other species. MosesGB is a single-tree, distance-independent growth model in which the growth of each individual tree in a stand is calculated in terms of its underlying growth potential (site and species specific) and its specific competitive status.

The simulator can be run either in batch mode or single stand mode. The single stand mode allows visualisation of the stand where the user can select individual trees for removal.

MosesGB will be of use as a research tool to underpin silvicultural systems research, wind risk modelling, timber quality modelling, carbon accounting, determination of forest characteristics from remote-sensing data, correlation between stand structure and abundance/availability of habitats. It also has the potential for use by forest managers wishing to explore the likely effects of different silvicultural activities on dbh distributions, stand structure, timber size etc.

  • View / downdload poster   [PDF, 2.6 MB]


9. Effects of successive thinning and patch clear felling to water quality at the Upper Lliw reservoir, Wales

Thomaz Andrade, Ryan Bowen, Rick Shakesbury, David Jenkins


Many potable water reservoirs in Wales are surrounded by mature even-aged coniferous forests where clear felling has been identified as a major risk to water quality. The objective of this project was to evaluate the impact of different forest management strategies on water quality in an upland potable water catchment in South Wales. Water quality was monitored for 18 months within a 25-ha coniferous woodland which is in the process of changing from dense even-aged to continuous cover forestry. Areas of clearfelled, thinned and dense (unmanaged) areas were compared in terms of stream water quality, and through the leachability of metals in local soil profiles. The effects of ground disturbance were still present after 3 to 4 years of recovering, as areas of clearfelling and windblow generated significantly higher inputs of colour, organics, turbidity and metals to the water courses within the woodland, both in wet and dry conditions. Thinning with no or minimum windblow did not appear to cause deterioration in water quality and an improvement of water quality did occur in some thinning plots in comparison with unmanaged stands. Thinning reduced the leachability of aluminium and manganese in soils, while no clear effect was observed for iron.

  • View / download poster   [PDF, 6.17 MB]

Conference Downloads

  1. Conference Programme   [PDF, 0.5 MB]

  2. Conference Report   [PDF, 1.43 MB]

  3. The report includes:
    • an overview of the conference and synopsis of the presentations (pages 1-7);
    • a summary of conclusions and recommendations arising from the presentations and subsequent discussion (pages 8/9);
    • and a set of priorities for research pertaining to CCF that emerged during the conference (pages 12-14).

  4. Event Photography

    Rob Grange
    , our event photographer, has taken a lively mix of photographs which can be viewed on Flickr. If you want to purchase any take a note of their reference no. and contact the CCFG Administrator

  5. View Ted Wilson’s popular article on the 2014 Conference in the Woodland Heritage Journal 2015. To download a copy of the article click here [PDF, 720 KB].

Talks – Tues 3 June

Message of Welcome from HRH The Prince of Wales [PDF, 430 KB] View
Session Chair Rik Pakenham
Chiltern Forestry
The challenge of delivering ecosystem services in the Lake District National Park Richard Leafe
Chief Executive,
Lake District National Park Authority
Keynote 1
The role of Continuous Cover Forestry in the forests of northrn England
Graham Gill,
Forest Management Director,
North England Forest District, Forestry Commission England
Resilient Forests: What are they? How do we achieve them? Is our knowledge base good enough? Gary Kerr,
Principal Silviculturalist,
Forest Research
Optimising stand development and economic performance in irregular stands Andy Poore,
Forest Manager, Consultant & Director,
SelectFor Ltd
(presented by Phil Morgan as Andy Poore was unable to attend)
Investigating the wildlife benefits of continuous cover forestry in lowland broadleaved woodland Christine Reid,
Senior Woodland & Forestry Specialist and
Saul Herbert,
Senior Reserve Manager,
Wyre Forest NNR, Natural England
Continuous Cover Forestry and forest adaptation to global climate change Mark Broadmeadow,
Principal Advisor Climate Change,
Forestry Commission England
Panel Discussion Chaired by Rik Pakenham,
Chiltern Forestry

Talks – Wed 4 June

Session Chair Chris Starr, OBE View
Current extent, motivation and status of Continuous Cover Forestry adoption in Britain: a review Scott McG Wilson,
Consultant Forester & Forest Ecologist
Continuous Cover Forestry in lowland broadleaved woodland in Herefordshire Graham Taylor,
Managing Director,
Pryor & Rickett Silviculture
Continuous Cover Forestry in Ireland: practice and research Dr Dr Áine ní Dhubháin,
Senior Lecturer,
School of Agriculture and Food Science,
University College Dublin
Keynote 2:
The Scottish Forestry Trust Keynote Lecture
A global overview of the future of alternative silviculture practices
Klaus Puettmann,
Edmund Hayes Professor in Silviculture Alternatives,
College of Forest Resources,
Oregon State University, USA
Bringing it all together: review and summary of the forest circuits Bill Mason,
CCFG Chairman
Final Remarks Philippe Morgan,
President of ProSilva

Chairman of the Conference Steering Group:

Rik Pakenham
Chiltern Forestry Ltd.
Stoney Lane Cottage
Little Haseley
Oxfordshire OX44 7LU


Rik Pakenham is a forestry consultant and woodland manager based near Oxford. He started his forestry career in the Lake District, working for several landowners including the Lingholm Estate, which adjoins the conference venue, as a trainee woodman. He then moved south to work for one of the large management companies and studied at The National School of Forestry at Newton Rigg, near Penrith.

He set up his own company Chiltern Forestry Ltd. which has a range of clients from large traditional estates, small woodland owners, corporate companies and farmers.

He has worked in the Baltics and sub contracted to Oxford University on several European research projects.

He has been Chairman and/or a committee member for various groups including the Royal Forestry Society, Future Trees Trust, Forestry and Timber Association (Confor) as well as the Continuous Cover Forestry Group.

Conference Resource:


Richard Leafe
Chief Executive
Lake District National Park Authority
Twitter @lakeschief


Richard joined the Lake District National Park Authority as Chief Executive in June 2007. Previously he was Regional Director in the North West for Natural England, a role he took up in October 2006. Richard worked for one of Natural England’s predecessors, English Nature, for 15 years.

Richard is a Geography graduate from Sheffield University where he also gained an MPhil in Coastal Geomorphology. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, away from work Richard is a keen climber, runner, cyclist and skier. From September 2012 Richard became a Board Member for the Environment Agency.

Synopsis of Presentation:

The Lake District National Park has a long proud history over millennia of being managed by people to deliver what the society needs at the time. Society’s demands and human management and in turn the landscape have continued to change over time. This “cultural landscape” is the key aspect of the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Inscription as the UK nomination to UNESCO in 2016. The Lake District National Park landscape continues to deliver a wide range of high quality ecosystem services for society, but we need to sustain these into the future through sustainable economies and communities and in the face of climate change and other pressures.

Continuous Cover Forestry has a significant role to play in the National Park to help protect and enhance the special qualities of the National Park and the potential World Heritage Site, contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and deliver the wide range of high quality ecosystem services that society demands now and in the future. The Lake District National Park Authority with a huge coalition of communities, businesses and partner organisations are working together to plan and deliver this sustainable future.

Conference Resource:

  • We regret that we do not have a PDF / video of this talk.

Websites and References:

  1. – Homepage for Lake District National Park Authority
  2. – Lake District National Park Partnership and Management Plan
  3. – Low Carbon Lake District programme: Climate Change mitigation and adaptation


Graham Gill
Forest Management Director
North England Forest District
Forestry Commission England


Graham gained a degree in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University in 1975 and joined the Forestry Commission in the same year. He has managed forests around Inverness, worked as a conifer tree breeder, and headed up the Commission’s Environment Branch at a time when the environmental guidelines were being introduced. He is a founder member of the Continuous Cover Forestry Group and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. For the past two years, he has been Forest Manager for FC forests across the north of England, and for the previous 17 years, manager for FC forests in the north east, including Kielder Forest. He has a keen interest in developing techniques for introducing continuous cover silviculture on the margins of upland spruce forests.

Synopsis of Presentation:

Continuous cover forestry (CCF) is an approach to forest management that results in the development of diverse forests with a range of different structures and often a variety of species. A range of silvicultural systems is included under the broad heading of CCF, a key feature being that, unlike clearfelling systems, tree canopy cover is never totally removed.

CCF is not an end in itself but a means of delivering management objectives where site and species are suitable for its use. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of CCF compared to clearfelling will be discussed illustrated by examples from north of England forests.

Many claims are made for the sustainability and resilience of CCF systems, yet we have relatively little experience of their use in the UK. Much of our information comes from continental Europe where species, soils, climate and light regime are different. It is important that claims are tested and that our understanding of the benefits is based on sound science. We need to build on the experience we have, gain more experience and learn from it. This conference is an excellent opportunity for separating fact from fiction, for finding out what is known about CCF systems in the UK and what we have yet to learn.

Conference Resource:

  • Download/View Graham Gill’s Presentation   [PDF, 8.5 MB]

Websites and References:

  1. Matthews, J D (1989) Silvicultural Systems, Clarendon Press, Oxford


Gary Kerr
Principal Silviculturist
Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham


Dr. Gary Kerr is Principal Silviculturist in Forest Research. He has published over 40 papers in peer reviewed journal, 16 Forestry Commission publications and over 50 articles in professional publications communicating the results of his research. For about the past ten years Gary’s work has focussed on alternative approaches to management and continuous cover silviculture. Gary also holds two significant posts that supplement his research activities. First, he is Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: An international Journal of forest research, published by Oxford University Press. Second, he is co-ordinator of the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Research Group 1.05.00 on uneven-aged silviculture.

Synopsis of Presentation:

The presentation explains the concept of resilience and examines ways in which it can be achieved by forestry practice in Britain. In addition, it questions whether our present understanding of the main building blocks of resilience has a sound knowledge base and, if not, what can be done to rectify this situation.

Conference Resource:

Websites and References:

  1. Kerr, G. (2008) Managing Continuous Cover Forests. Forestry Commission Operational Guidance Booklet 7, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  2. Harmer, R. and Kerr, G. (2013) Using canopy cover to control vegetation in continuous cover forestry. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 107(2):113-121.
  3. Kerr, G. and Haufe, J. (2011) Thinning Practice: A Silvicultural Guide. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
  4. Poore, A. and Kerr, G. (2009) Continuous Cover Silviculture at the Stourhead (Western) Estate, Wiltshire, UK. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 103:23-30.
  5. Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2011) Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry. Report to the Forestry Commission by Forest Research. Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.


Andy Poore

Andy Poore
The Old Dairy
North Bowood
Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5JH


Trained in economics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and forestry at UNCW Bangor, Andy has operated as an independent forest manager and consultant based in South West England since 1984. He is involved in the management of 10,000 acres of varied woodland in Dorset, Wiltshire and Mid Wales. His practice moved away from plantation forestry in the early 1990s and now all the managed woodland follows CCF principles.

Andy is also a Director of SelectFor Ltd which provides specialist consultancy, training and research services in CCF, a founder member of CCFG and a member of the Association de Futaie Irrégulière, a French irregular silviculture research network.

Synopsis of Presentation:

This presentation considers the situation of a private forest manager seeking to define and monitor the stand development of more developed irregular stands in the UK over the last 15 years in a situation where no useable information on stand performance exists, although information is available from irregular stands in Continental Europe.

Further, stand interventions must be organised in an economically optimal way in order to deliver an acceptable financial result for the owner.

The presentation looks at the author’s answers to the following questions:

  • What parameters to monitor?
  • How to focus monitoring effort to deliver cost-effectiveness?
  • How to integrate monitoring results into marking practice in order to progress stand development and in order to produce the best economic result from interventions in the short and longer term?
  • How to calibrate monitoring results from European research?

The presentation will demonstrate that diameter increment is the key parameter to measure and that when combined with other, easily determined parameters, effective silvicultural and economic tools can be produced.

Conference Resource:

  • Download/View Andy Poore’s Presentation  [PDF, 5.3 MB]

Unfortunately Andy Poore was unable to give this talk, and the material was presented instead by his Selectfor colleague, Phil Morgan.


Phil Morgan

Phil Morgan
Plas y Wenallt
Ceredigion, SY23 4AX


Philippe Morgan is President of Pro Silva and Vice-president of the Association Futaie rrégulière. He has a wide range of work and travelling experience from South East Asia to Europe and North America. He manages forests in Wales for a living and also works as a consultant in France and in Ireland. He is a Director of SelectFor, specialists in continuous cover forest management, developing an international network of CCF research stands and training plots across Britain and Ireland.

Websites and References:

  1. Poore A (2007) CCF at Stourhead – Final Report. Continuous Cover Silviculture & Mensuration in Mixed Conifers at the Stourhead (Western) Estate, Wiltshire, UK. Link to PDF  [PDF, 1.1 MB]


Christine Reid

Christine Reid
Senior Woodland and Forestry Specialist
Natural England
Unex House
Peterborough, PE1 1NG


I am Natural England’s Senior Woodland and Forestry specialist. I provide advice and training to NE staff and our partners on woodland and conservation issues across England – particularly on woodland SSSIs and ancient woodland. I am currently interested in promoting the restoration of replanted ancient woodland, the impact of tree diseases on wildlife, how woodlands are responding to climate change, and novel


Saul Herbert

Saul Herbert
Senior Reserve Manager
Wyre Forest NNR
Natural England


I have been responsible for the management of the Wyre Forest National Nature Reserve for the last six years. We are delivering conservation focussed management over 500 ha of ancient oak woodland, and working to restore a similar area of ancient woodland from conifer plantation. We are establishing a range of long term monitoring programmes in the Wyre Forest to study the effects of silvicultural systems, broadleaved woodland restoration and habitat management on the wildlife of the forest.

Synopsis of Presentation:

Natural England is keen to explore what CCF management can deliver for woodland wildlife. This talk examines the needs of woodland wildlife and some of the reasons, as identified in recent research projects, why much woodland wildlife is in serious decline. The talk discusses two studies which are beginning at Cranborne Chase (Rushmore Estate) SSSI and the Wyre Forest (SSSI/NNR), two of the largest and most wildlife-rich lowland broadleaved woodlands in England. The objectives and methodologies being used to look at the effects on wildlife of implementing CCF on these sites are discussed. Their large size, management history and current management aims mean that it is possible to compare wildlife effects of a range of forest structures, in both established CCF systems and at the introduction of CCF into undermanaged woodland. Because of the ‘newness’ of CCF in lowland England, some innovative methods are being used to compare the effects of changing woodland structures on woodland birds, invertebrates (including those in the tree canopy)and reptiles. Only very limited study results are available at this stage: watch this space!

Conference Resource:

  • Download/View Christine Reid and Saul Herbert’s Presentation  [PDF, 3.0 MB]
  • Watch Christine Reid and Saul Herbert’s Presentation  [Youtube]