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Managing England's woodlands and climate change

Climate Change Accord: a Call for Resilient Forests, Woods and Trees. You can join this initiative

Our woodlands have been managed successfully during the last century under the assumption that the environment they are growing in will be relatively stable. This key assumption is now proven to be flawed. 

Managing Risk is now a critical part of managing our woodlands,we must open our eyes and make significant changes to widely accepted and practiced forest management in England

Over the last ten years there has been a significant increase in the number of pests and diseases attacking our trees, and this is compounding the challenges of adapting to a changing climate.

Our forest industry in England is reliant on relatively few tree species.

  • Five conifer species account for 88% of the softwood forests.
  • Five broadleaf species make up over 72% of the hardwood woodland resource.
  • Much of which is grown in monoculture.

We must act with URGENCY and plant a wider range of tree species, with a wider range of origin.

The resilience of woodlands in England relies on tree species selection being based on the predicted future climatic conditions rather than current.

The Forestry Commission’s UK Forestry Standard sets out the approach of UK government for sustainable forest management with regard to climate change. This document provides the basis for the advice and guidance found on these pages which look specifically at woodlands and forests in England.


Advice on woodland resilience:


Last updated: 31st January 2018