More than 50 organisations, led by the Woodland Trust, are leading UK society in a call for a charter that will ensure that people and trees can stand stronger together in the future. This charter, strengthened by support from all corners of society, will provide guidelines and principles for policy, decision-makers, businesses, communities and individuals.

CCFG is pleased to be supporting a consultation, hosted by Sylva Foundation, that will enable woodland owners and custodians across the UK to help define the 2017 Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

This consultation is the only activity specifically aimed at ensuring the views of woodland owners or custodians are reflected in the Charter. More than two-thirds of woodlands are held in private hands, so it is vital that the voices of woodland owners/custodians are reflected in the charter.

BioWild Project

The ANW Deutschland e.V. (Pro Silva Germany association, headed by Hans von der Goltz) started at the end of 2015 a project called “BioWild”, dealing with the disequilibrium between natural forest regeneration / forest biodiversity and ungulate populations in Germany. In close cooperation with the universities of Dresden (Prof. Michael Muller), Gottingen (Prof. Christian Ammer) and Munich (Prof. Thomas Knoke) 25,000 hectares of forest lands will be monitored within 5 pilot regions for the upcoming 6 years. Our key objective is to promote biodiverse, mixed, stable and resilient forests. Based on field observations the BioWild-Project memberswill demonstrate to the public, and to the participating forest owners and hunters in particular, which immediate and long term ecologic and economic effects their decisions have on silvicultural issues, biodiversity or hunting. For this purpose the project results will be processed as easily understandable demonstration sites in the pilot regions. Guiding principles for policy and decision support will also be formulated. If you want to get more information about the BioWild-Project, please go to www.biowildprojekt.de.

Pro Silva Ireland held a field visit in Knockrath Forest, County Wicklow. This was a particularly important event in terms of promoting Pro Silva outside of the Pro Silva network since Duncan Stuart and the EcoEye Team recorded some of the days discussions for the EcoEye TV programme which is a very popular TV programme in Ireland. In addition, Donal Magner, Forestry Editor for the Irish Farmers Journal wrote an article about the day which helps promote Pro Silva principles to a new audience.

Drought damage to Sitka spruce in eastern Britain and disease impacts on pine, and larch more widely, suggest that total reliance on Sitka spruce monocultures for upland forestry may prove unwise. The project re-evaluates mixed-species upland plantations which combine Sitka spruce with alternative productive conifers such as Norway spruce, Douglas fir, western hemlock, grand fir and noble fir, and touches on other potential alternatives.

The outcomes suggest that this approach could offer significant benefits of resilience to novel pests and diseases and, to a lesser extent, climate change. There are also advantages in terms of silvicultural development and ecological sustainability. The full report can be viewed on the Scottish Forestry Trust website.

Dr. Scott McG Wilson’s recent report ‘An Independent Review of Adpotion of Alternative Silvicultural Systems (ATC) in Britain’ can be viewed on the CCFG website. The report was funded by the Scottish Forest Trust and the Forestry Commission, but it is an independent study and the views expressed are those of the author. This comprehensive report includes a register of examples of CCF (called ATC in the report) throughout Britain, 30 of which have been worked up into case studies. It also investigates the challenges and issues which are hampering the wider adoption of CCF/ATC in British forests. It concludes with recommendations which cover: 1. More vigorous promotoion of CCF by FC, universities, voluntary groups and professional advisers so that forest managers are more aware of the benefits, and are encouraged to adopt CCF. 2. A need for more demonstration sites and from a wide range of contexts (location, forest composition, ownership), and the development and use of more consistent inventory and monitoring methods. 3. Grant schemes which enable and encourage the adoption of CCF. 4. Continued R & D support at both the national and regional scale with a greater emphasis on the operational and economic aspects. 5. Support and encouragement for providers of more suitable, lighter machinery, e.g. machinery rings. Also, a concerted effort to develop markets and processes which make use of timber of mixed sizes and species. 6. More CPD and in-service training courses that are relevant to CCF.