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Alice Holt Forest climate change adaptation trail

Home research Climate change adaptation Climate Change Adaptation Demonstration Alice Holt Forest climate change adaptation trail

The Alice Holt Forest climate change adaptation trail opened in 2019.

The trail is designed to inform decisions about how we can adjust our woodland management practices to better prepare our woodlands for the changing climate.  The trail shows a range of climate change adaptation measures and options.

The trail passes through three new demonstration areas which show climate change adaptation measures in a woodland typical of the south east of England. As well as the new demonstration areas, the trail includes 20th century research trials and the Alice Holt Arboretum, which are of fresh interest to those considering how to build resilience to environmental change.

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The trail is located on the Surrey/Hampshire border.  The forest contains a mix of broadleaf tree species and coniferous woodland which provides many important benefits.  The future climate for the area is expected to include hotter, drier summers along with more frequent extreme weather events, such as droughts, which could lead to significant reductions in tree growth, biodiversity and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration.

How can I visit the demonstration areas and the adaptation trail?

The trail starts in Alice Holt Arboretum car park which is located near to Forest Research’s Alice Holt Lodge and two miles from Alice Holt Forest Park.  A self-guided trail guide and associated worksheet is available. Alternatively, if you would like a hard copy of the guide or to request it in audio format, contact us at adaptah@forestry.gov.uk 

The trail is set within a working forest, please follow all safety signs and wear appropriate footwear.  Please watch out for other visitors on foot, bike and horse and also any vehicles on the forest roads.

We hope this inspires you to find out more about the demonstration work, to come along to take a look at what is happening and let us know what you think. A range of case studies of adaptive practice from forests and woodlands across the UK (including Alice Holt Forest), plus a UK Forestry Standard Practice Guide on Adapting forest and woodland management to the changing climate are available to provide you with more information.

Findings and Recommendations

The planning, operations and implementation of the measures have already provided insights into the practicalities of adapting to future changes.  The intention is that as they grow, they will continue to develop our learning about the process and impact of implementing adaptation actions in forestry, and encourage others to think about what measures might work best in their woodlands and to share their ideas and experiences.