Ancient woodlands provide some of Great Britain’s most biodiverse and culturally significant habitats. Current planning policy aims to protect these ‘irreplaceable’ habitats from the direct and indirect impacts of nearby development. However, assessing the potential impact of development on nearby habitats is complex and impeded by evidence gaps. Our aim is to deliver evidence to underpin future policy, practice, and industry guidance critical to safeguarding ancient woodlands whilst supporting responsible development and woodland use.
The Active Forests Programme aims to create a physical activity habit for life for visitors to the nation’s forests in England. The programme provides engaging, inspirational and motivating physical activity opportunities for new and existing forest visitors. It is a partnership between Forestry England and Sport England and was evaluated by Forest Research.
This research examines the potential of agroforestry to contribute to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets outlined in Scotland’s Climate Change Plan, and the economic viability of adopting agroforestry practices. It finds agroforestry has potential to sequester carbon and is generally financially viable, but benefits vary according to different factors.
Forest Research and Defra have made the first estimate of the monetary value of non-woodland trees in the UK.
This work helps us to understand the overall value of our treescape, in which non-woodland trees play a critical role.
Non-woodland trees are:
single trees in urban and rural places,
groups of trees covering less...
This research involves working directly with farmers to better understand the barriers to and opportunities for increasing tree cover on agricultural land. Specifically, it aims to explore how and where trees fit with farmers’ social and cultural values. The primary focus is on trees outside of woodland, including agroforestry, hedges,...
Natural colonisation occurs when tree seed reaches a site and establishes where woodland has not recently existed. This differs from natural regeneration where new trees establish within existing woodland or where woodland has recently been located.
Supporting woodland expansion through such natural processes, is another method with potential to contribute to...
This research aims to find out how to expand woodland cover in a way that maximises ecological and social benefits. The programme complements the other six programmes and follows collaborative principles to produce tools which support land managers, stakeholders and policy makers to increase engagement with woodland creation activities
This is a collaboration with tree health scientists to explore new and emerging pest threats to priority tree species and new woodlands. We aim to assess the risks posed by established pests under current and future climates, and the most likely invasion pathways for key invasive pests.
The UK’s trees face a growing number of pest and disease related threats, many of which are driven by human activities and behaviour. However, there is very limited evidence surrounding the impact of communication around biosecurity on attitudes and actions. This research builds on previous research for Scottish Forestry into biosecurity interventions along...
This research presents an estimate of the mental health benefits associated with the UK’s woodlands, using an approach valuing woodland through reduced prevalence of mental illnesses. Indicative estimates are derived for potential inclusion of mental health benefits in UK natural capital accounts and for use in project and policy appraisal.
This project reviewed evidence on the health and well-being benefits, and social and cultural benefits, of visits to forests, as well as the methods to measure and monitor them. It also provides recommendations for monitoring these benefits to support the implementation of Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-2029.
How do we manage insect pests in forestry? This PhD project aims to evaluate current science and practise and develop and test new and improved methods in order to enhance integrated pest management in the industry.
The Covid-19 Pandemic and associated ‘lockdown’ restrictions in 2020 impacted people’s lives in many ways, including how often people visited nature and their experiences of it. This report concerns how people visited green and blue natural spaces and their experiences of this during 2020.
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