Tree growing is very much at the heart of Woodland Heritage. When we first started in 1993 we declared that one of our aims was to "help double the tree cover in the UK". A rather ambitious aim for a small charity with very limited resources !
We always knew that the number of trees we could directly plant ourselves would be modest, but we saw our role as persuading other organisations capable of planting large numbers of trees, to do so in such a way that "tree planting" became "tree growing". Careful site selection and ground preparation, the right species and provenance, proper spacing, fencing, weed control and formative pruning are all absolute essentials. Sadly in the UK, many of the trees recently planted are failing.
In Britain we are becoming ever more dependent on timber imports - often from countries not managing their forest resource in a sustainable way.
Our way is sustainable.
On page 3 you can read about "Walter’s Wood" - an exemplar of how to grow trees the Woodland Heritage way. We are confident of success and will continue to report on the progress of this model planting project every year from now on.
It does often strike me that many of our members are of "senior years". Many are like Walter or indeed, our late Patron, Peter Garthwaite OBE - they dedicate their lives to woodlands and trees and become invaluable sources of experience and knowledge.
But, what happens when they are gone ? To whom will they pass on their priceless knowledge and wisdom? Where are the young Walters and Peters ? Are we in touch with them ? Are they Members ?
We believe deeply in the need for a continuity of management of woodlands that transcends generations. And, this is why we attach such value to our educational bursaries for young foresters such as Ben Orford, Rachel Lawrence, Charles Gittins, Chris Reynolds...... and many others past and present, because they are the future.
Lewis. J. Scott