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Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate

Home research Climate change adaptation Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate

The following case studies and web resources relate to the UKFS Practice Guide – Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate.

Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate

Case studies of adaptive practice

Each of these studies range in size from small woodlands of three hectares to large forests of nearly 70 000 hectares, and several of the forests can be visited.

  1. Climate-ready forestry at Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
    Management changes have been implemented across 67,000 ha of forest in Central Scotland to adapt to changing wind, flood and other risks from climate change and to establish a ‘climate ready’ demonstration forest.
  2. Managing a woodland with acute oak decline: Bell Coppice.
    Oak dominated high forest, important for conservation and located on the Worcestershire / Shropshire Border. The coppice is being adapted by the landowner to reduce the impact of pest and disease attack (acute oak decline) alongside more direct projected impacts of climate change.
  3. Jeskyns mixed broadleaf climate adaptation demonstration.
    Adaptation during new woodland creation. A climate change demonstration area of mixed broadleaf woodland planted on former agricultural land in 2006.
  4. Bicentenary project: planning 200 years ahead in Gipps Wood.
    A small wood within a large, family owned estate. Adaptation started in 2017 and measures include increasing species diversity and assisted migration of native species to increase resilience and inform future adaptive practice.
  5. Demonstrating climate change adaptation in Alice Holt Forest.
    Adaptation demonstration areas have been established in broadleaf and conifer stands to address increasing drought risk and changing species suitability in current stands and to inform adaptive practice.
  6. Planning to reduce the future fire risk in Swinley Forest.
    A mixed forest located in a densely populated part of southeast England where adaptation measures are being applied to reduce the risk of increasing wildfire.
  7. Transformation to continuous cover forestry at Clocaenog Forest.
    An exposed upload forest site where low impact silvicultural systems have been adopted, as part of an adaptation strategy, in an attempt to reduce the risk of storm damage and other climate change impacts on tree growth and survival.
  8. Land management planning in West Sutherland.
    Climate resilience and biodiversity conservation are core themes of the land management plan for this 6684 ha area of land owned by Forestry and Land Scotland. Adaptation has begun to restore peatland and establish riparian woodland to create resilient ecosystems.
  9. Sustainable forest management at Kinveachy Caledonian Pinewoods.
    The management of deer populations and removal of diseased trees is slowly supporting the natural regeneration of Scots pine and the regeneration of native broadleaves at the site, which in turn provides habitat for protected birds and rare plants.

Web resources

UK Forestry Authorities

England: Forestry Commission –

Scotland: Scottish Forestry –

Wales: Natural Resources Wales –

Northern Ireland: Forest Service –

National adaptation programmes

England: Defra –

Scotland: Scottish Government –

Wales: Welsh Government –

Northern Ireland: DAERA –

Climate change information

Climate Change Committee – Adapting to a warmer UK

Forest Research – TreeAlert

Forestry Commission Guidance (England) – Managing England’s woodlands in a climate emergency

Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk (CCRA3) –

International Journal of Climatology – State of the UK climate 2018

LWEC Climate change impacts report cards – Agriculture and forestry, and Biodiversity

Met Office UK climate projections –

Observatree –

Plant Healthy certification scheme –

Scottish Forestry – Woodland grazing toolbox

The UK Forestry Standard

UK National Ecosystem Assessment –

Climate change risks

About Drought – Ecosystem report cards

Scottish Forestry – Assessing herbivore impact in woodlands: An observation-based method

Forest Research – Pest and disease resources

Forestry Commission Research Note – Climate change: impacts and adaptation in England’s woodlands

Forestry Commission Research Note – Impacts of climate change on forestry in Scotland – a synopsis of spatial modelling research

Forestry Commission Research Note – Potential impacts of drought and disease on forestry in Scotland

Forestry Commission Research Note – Species preference of small mammals for direct-sown tree and shrub seeds – Working with natural processes to reduce flood risk

LWEC Climate change impacts report cards – Agriculture and forestry: Technical Paper 7 – Insects, pests and pathogens of trees

LWEC Climate change impacts report cards – Agriculture and forestry: Technical Paper 8 – Risks for woodlands, forest management and forestry production in the UK from climate change

Natural England / RSPB – Climate change adaptation manual

Increasing tree species diversity

Forest Research – Tree species and provenance

Royal Forestry Society – Alternative species profiles

Silvifuture network –

Creating mixed species stands

Forestry Commission Research Note – Encouraging biodiversity at multiple scales in support of resilient woodlands

Forestry Commission Research Note – Converting planted non-native conifer to native woodlands: a review of the benefits, drawbacks and experience in Britain

Davies and Kerr (2015) – Comparing the Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry for Sitka Spruce in Great Britain

Case study 3 – Woodland creation to highlight climate change adaptation at Jeskyns (see above)

Forest Research – Forest development types

Mason, Stokes and Forester (2021) – Proportions of a pine nurse influences overyielding in planted spruce forests of Atlantic Europe

Choosing tree provenance

Forestry Commission Information Note – Choosing provenance in broadleaved trees

Forestry Commission Scotland Guidance Note – Seed sources for planting native trees and shrubs in Scotland

Forestry Commission Research Report – Genetic considerations for provenance choice of native trees under climate change in England

Forestry Commission Research Note – Choice of silver birch planting stock for productive woodlands

Forestry Commission Information Note – Selecting the right provenance of oak for planting in Britain

Forestry Commission Information Note – The role of forest genetic resources in helping British forests respond to climate change

Using natural regeneration

Forestry Commission Information Note – Using natural colonisation to create or expand new woodlands

Carrying out thinning operations

Case study 5 – Demonstrating climate change adaptation in Alice Holt Forest (see above)

Diversifying structure

Forestry Commission Information Note – Transforming even-aged conifer stands to continuous cover management

Forestry Commission Information Note – Monitoring the transformation of even-aged stands to continuous cover management

Forest Research – The evidence supporting the use of CCF in adapting Scotland’s forests to the risks of climate change

Considering forest and woodland design

Forest Research – Climate matching tool

Establishment and management

Forestry Commission Bulletin – Cultivation of soils for forestry

Climate Change Accord: A call for resilient forests, woods and trees (July 2015) (Adaptation in action: Oakover Nurseries, p12)

Forest Research best practice guidance for land regeneration: Note 20 – Drought-tolerant tree species for land regeneration

Adapting infrastructure

Forestry Commission Practice Guide – Building wildfire resilience into forest management planning

Forestry Commission Technical Note – Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from forest civil engineering

Forestry Commission Technical Note – Extraction route trials on sensitive sites

Forestry Commission Technical Note – Protecting the environment during mechanised harvesting operations

Preparing contingency plans

Forest Research report – The role of contingency planning in climate change adaptation for the forestry sector in Scotland