CCFG Constitution

Following discussions over the last two years, the CCFG Constitution has now been revised to take account of comments from members and legal advice. The version now shown in the members’ area has been agreed by the CCFG Committee. As agreed at last year’s AGM (see item 4.1 of the draft minutes), members are asked to send any comments to Bill Mason by March 15.

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.

Forestry Vacancies

Woodland Heritage seeks a Director to lead, represent, co-ordinate development, expand membership, inspire and enable new ideas and opportunities to help the woodland sector. For further information, please visit: www.woodlandheritage.org/work-for-us

A respected forestry consulting business in the East of England, which provides practical woodland management and consultancy services to landowners is offering a “self emplyment” opportunity to a young forestry graduate or similarly qualified individual. For further information, please contact Rod Pass on 01440 783820 or submit CV to rjpass@btconnect.com.

The Forest Service of the Rhineland Palatinate (Landes-forsten Rheinland-Pfalz) have been promoting an approach to forest management which has similar features to CCF and PAWS restoration, but they call it QD – Qualification-Dimensioning (Qualifizieren – Dimensionieren). A feature of their regeneration policy is to mark clumps, 5 – 7 m in diameter and at 12 to 18 m distance centre to centre, where regeneration is managed as minimally as possible so that it will eventually give the premium crop trees which are one of their objectives. Elsewhere regeneration is not interfered with. See information sheet.

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Professor Hanns Höfle, the internationally respected German forester. He died in June, 2014 whilst trekking in the mountains of Georgia. Prof. Höfle was an academic with a seat in the University of Göttingen. He also had extensive practical experience and was an FD manager in Lower Saxony. Many students of Bangor University will remember him as a visiting lecturer, and in 2010 he ran a most successful workshop on Timber Harvesting for the Continuous Cover Forestry Group.

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.

This survey aims to determine the extent of sustainable management practices in Britain and asks owners and managers of private woodland about their attitudes to current ecological, social and economic challenges.

We are encouraging CCFG members who are woodland owners and managers to complete the survey – and when doing so please add a note in the final question (additional comments) to say you are a member of CCFG.