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Press Release - May 2018

Woodland to Workshop course achieves two milestones

A twentieth running, ten years after it began, saw Woodland Heritage’s ever-popular ‘Woodland to Workshop’ course achieve two landmarks in May. Based as ever in Herefordshire at Whitney Sawmills and woods, along with the Duchy estate’s woodlands, the next target that beckons could be as near as this September, when the total number of attendees is due to top the 250-mark.

“We always thought that the simple idea of a course that connected timber growers with wood users had a market and it’s wonderful to see that a decade later, the demand is still there from both ends of the timber supply chain”, said Lewis Scott, Co-Founder and trustee of Woodland Heritage. “Feedback from those attending remains consistently high and the waiting list to attend still remains, although we’re always keen to hear from people who’d like to attend, of course!”

One of the attendees at the May 2018 course, David Brown, was supported by a Wood-Mizer UK bursary.

As a self-employed farmer and forester, David has over the last 29 years planted and established around 50 acres of broadleaf woodland on his 70-acre farm. His aim is to produce high quality timber using carefully thought out management plans, formative and high pruning, and rigorous squirrel control.

His dedicated work resulted in being selected as the winner of the RFS award for small woodland management in 2015 and the Roger Williams-Ellis challenge cup at the Royal Welsh Show in 2016.

In addition to this he finds the time to construct wooden structures using traditional timber framing techniques and working with local Oak and Larch, as well as studying for the MSc Forestry at Bangor University as a distance learning student.

“We would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the continued support from Wood-Mizer UK for our ‘Woodland to Workshop’ courses”, said Mr Scott. “Wood-Mizer sees the value in developing more wood growers and users, equipped to better understand the business opportunities that exist with our most renewable of resources.”

The next Woodland to Workshop course is due to take place in late-September 2018. For more information, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01428-652159.

Editor’s Notes

For more information on this release, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall, Chief Executive, Woodland Heritage on 07816-384221.

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

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Woodland Heritage part of Action Oak launch

CAMPAIGN BRANCHES OUT TO PROTECT UK’S MIGHTY OAKS

· The Action Oak campaign to protect the nation’s iconic oak trees has been officially launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 by Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner

· The campaign contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect and enhance our precious oak trees for future generations

· The Action Oak Partnership includes the Woodland Trust, Woodland Heritage, National Trust, the Duchy of Cornwall, Forest Research, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, the Forestry Commission and the Northern Ireland Forest Service, and is supported by Defra, Scottish, Wales and Northern Ireland governments.

A major new campaign to protect the UK’s mighty oak trees from threats including pests and diseases has been officially launched at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show today (Monday, 21 May) by Lord Gardiner, Defra’s Biosecurity Minister.

The Action Oak Partnership - made up of charities, environmental organisations and landowners – is seeking to raise £15 million for research and monitoring to help safeguard the 121 million oaks in UK woodlands.

Work will include capturing the first detailed picture of the current health of oaks trees, helping to gain a greater understanding of how to preserve their iconic position in our landscape for generations to come.

The campaign contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan which was launched by the Prime Minister in January by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect and enhance oaks for future generations. It also builds on the £37 million the Government is already investing in tree and plant health research.

Action Oak is supported by The Prince of Wales, who convened a cross-sector meeting on the issue of plant health and biosecurity at Highgrove, his residence in Gloucestershire, in February. HRH is also the Patron of Woodland Heritage, the charity that will be administering funds raised by the campaign.

Defra Biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner said:

‘’Protecting our country from pests and diseases, so our trees and plants can thrive in the future, is a priority for this Government and we are proud to be backing this campaign.

‘’The Action Oak Partnership provides a one-off opportunity to shape the future of our oak trees and make sure they continue to have a place in our landscape.

‘’The combined knowledge of all the organisations involved will be vital in protecting these majestic trees, contributing to help us be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.’’

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), supported by the organisations involved in the Partnership, will have a stand at RHS Chelsea Flower show dedicated to Action Oak. At the stand visitors will be able to learn about how oak trees have shaped our history, the threats the face and how they can be protected.

Action Oak has already attracted support from foundations, businesses, artists and celebrities including:


· Dame Judi Dench, a well-known tree lover – a 3D scan of her favourite oak tree will be displayed on the Action Oak stand at Chelsea,
· British ceramicist Emma Bridgewater – has created a bespoke Action Oak mug which will go on sale later in the year in support of Partnership, with a portion of the proceeds going towards Action Oak research,
· The Monument Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts­ – has donated a further £500,000 towards research into Acute Oak Decline (AOD),
· The JABBS Foundation, a private family charitable foundation based in Birmingham, has pledged over £565,000 towards research examining oak tree defences at the University of Birmingham for Forest Research.

Geraint Richards, Head Forester Duchy of Cornwall, said:

“The oak is our country’s most important tree, an iconic species and the provider of numerous benefits to us and our environment.

“We must do all that we can to preserve the health of our oak trees for future generations.’’

Beccy Speight, chief executive for the Woodland Trust, said:

"We need to take a serious look at the threats our trees and woods are facing. As we approach a post-Brexit world, we need to take opportunities to make the UK's landscape more resilient, and combat invasive pests and diseases head-on. Our shared responsibilities span from ensuring the supply of new, UK-sourced saplings to better care for our ancient trees.

"We are proud to be a part of Action Oak. The oak supports an astonishing amount of wildlife, but is also an iconic part of our culture and heritage. By working together we plan to make the necessary changes to safeguard our most treasured native tree, for decades to come."

Lewis Scott, co-founder and trustee of Woodland Heritage said:

“My co-Founder, Peter Goodwin, single-handedly raised £2million towards research into Acute Oak Decline (AOD) before his untimely death last year.

‘’This money has enabled so much research to have been undertaken over the last decade, but the threats to the oak go far beyond AOD, itself not yet fully understood.

‘’It is wonderful, therefore, for Woodland Heritage to now be part of a unique initiative that is tackling the wide range of risks the oak faces head-on, helping to ensure that the mighty oak can be enjoyed by generations to come”.

Photo 21 05 2018, 10 52 53 preview resized

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Press Release - April 2018

Mill visit a turning point on university study tour

A mixed group of second year students from the Forestry and Woodland Ecology and Conservation Degree courses and Foundation degree students from the Forestry Foundation Degree, both from the National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria reached the halfway point on their ‘southern’ tour of the forestry industry at Whitney Sawmills in April.

The week-long tour started by visiting Maelor Nursery near Wrexham on the journey down to talk about nursery practice and tree breeding for productivity and resilience, before moving on the next day to the Forest of Dean to look at the establishment and silviculture of quality hardwoods as well as the approach to marketing, where the effects of grey squirrels on an otherwise well-established crop was a major talking-point.

Having covered the productive side of things, the group visited Woodland Heritage’s Whitney Sawmills, where manager, Dermot Doyne, introduced the students to some of the issues surrounding utilisation.

“The visit to Whitney Sawmills was a great opportunity for the students to complete the loop in terms of the lifecycle of trees used for timber. It’s really important for the Woodland Ecology and Conservation students to get a good feel for the benefits and process of growing timber; it is something they cover in little detail as part of the course, so I was very keen that this study tour would help greatly to address this”, said Lecturer, Chris Watson. “The Woodland to Workshop course held at Whitney each year is something that I’ve always wanted to experience and having been there now, I’m even more keen to attend in the future, which I hope many of our students will do too.”

Dermot Doyne said: “Part of the reason why Woodland Heritage bought Whitney Sawmills was to increase the number of aspiring foresters who could experience and learn about the role of a hardwood sawmill. This spring alone, we’ll have had visits from young people thinking about forestry as a career-path, as well as the under-graduates from the National School of Forestry, rounded off by some MSc students from Harper Adams University many of whom are practising foresters already. This growing number and variety of groups is something I’m keen to see more of and would love to hear from group organisers wanting to understand how a hardwood mill works”.

Leaving Whitney, the National School of Forestry group went to nearby Moccas Park to see the many ancient oaks on site, before travelling the next day to the Wyre Forest to look at Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland and the many conservation benefits of broadleaved woodland and coppice restoration. The final day was spent in the Mersey Forest to look at community woodlands and forestry, as well as woodland creation.

For more information on forestry degree and other courses at the National School of Forestry, search for forestry courses at www.cumbria.ac.uk, and to discuss possible visits to Whitney Sawmills, contact Dermot Doyne on 01497-831656.

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline. HRH The Prince of Wales has been the Patron of Woodland Heritage since 2005.

For more information on this release, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall, Chief Executive, Woodland Heritage on 07816-384221.

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Press Release - November 2017

‘Saving our Oak’ highlights the challenge of Acute Oak Decline

The plight of our most iconic native tree, the oak, is the subject of a new film released by the charity, Woodland Heritage, today.

The film documents the challenge posed by Acute Oak Decline (AOD) to British oak trees. Entitled ‘Saving our Oak’, the film can be viewed by clicking here. The film gives thanks to past supporters showing snapshots of the research that their donations have made possible, but also highlights that despite great progress made, so much more needs to be learned, for which another urgent appeal is underway.

Attending an event to launch the film, Minister for Biosecurity Lord Gardiner of Kimble said:

“This film highlights some of the crucial research that is ongoing to counter Acute Oak Decline.

“This disease puts the majestic oak, our national tree, in jeopardy. It is vital that we develop further our knowledge of how to unlock the disease’s defences and tackle this threat.”

Acute Oak Decline (AOD) is a condition affecting several thousand oak trees, mostly across East Anglia, the Midlands and Southern England as far west as Somerset. It affects both of Britain's native oak species: pedunculate or 'English' oak (Quercus robur) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea) as well as other species of oak.

AOD is characterised visually by dark fluid oozing from cracks in the bark, rapid decline of the tree, and the eventual death of affected trees. Death can occur within four or five years of symptoms first becoming visible.Many affected trees also have characteristically D-shaped exit holes of the buprestid, or oak jewel beetle, in the bark.

Woodland Heritage’s Chairman of Trustees, Lewis Scott said: “As with so much linking Woodland Heritage with the challenge of Acute Oak Decline, and developing management strategies to protect our oak, this film was the brainchild of the charity’s past Chairman and fellow Co-Founder of Woodland Heritage, Peter Goodwin. From the moment that Peter became aware of the threat that AOD posed to his beloved oak tree, now a decade or so ago, Peter headed a relentless campaign to highlight the risks and raise funds to help support research into understanding the causes and managing the problem. He was always the first to promote what could and should be done to reduce the threats; he was always focused on acting and not talking, with the results showing themselves so clearly in this inspirational film”.

The story told in ‘Saving our Oak’ is one of partnerships and collaboration towards a shared objective. Peter used his energy and vision to highlight the plight of the oak and to persuade donors to help this wonderful, iconic tree have a more secure future. But he left the science to Forest Research to co-ordinate, carry out and direct, always working with Dr Sandra Denman, who had shared Peter’s concerns about AOD from the outset.

“Combining the expertise and resources at Forest Research with new ones that we were able to harness at universities and research organisationsthanks to the money that Peter secured, this has been such an inspirational example of a private-public partnership working to great effect”, said Dr Sandra Denman. “The special opportunity that the charitable funding afforded us was to be nimble in response to research needs, able to widen our collective knowledge and better understand, and so manage this disease, in the future”.

Many of the scientists involved in the research are doctoral or post-doctoral researchers and their studies are showcased in the film using a holistic multi-disciplinary approach tackling topics as diverse as predisposition, soils, biogeochemistry, tree genetics and metabolomics, dendrochronology and chemical ecology, which are the factors that are increasingly recognised as contributing to the spread of AOD.

“It takes time and resource to carry out research that leads to greater scientific understanding and practical solutions, but the investment that Woodland Heritage and associated charities have made in this are starting to yield important results that are vital stepping stones to the solutions. Our future research programme lays out a path that we believe will help AOD to be further understood and better managed”, added Dr Denman.

Over £2m has been raised so far by Woodland Heritage towards research into AOD, but further studies to a value in excess of £1m are needed. To help these get underway, donations are being sought towards Woodland Heritage’s AOD Appeal and can be made via http://www.woodlandheritage.org/images/stories/wh/downloads/wh_aod_appeal.pdf.

Please see below a selection of still photos from the film:

 AOD film, aerial, close up

Aerial view

AOD film, Agrilus emergence hole

Agrilus emergence hole

AOD film, larval route

Larval route

AOD film, Agrilus on leaf

Agrilus on leaf

AOD film, Emma Bonham

Emma Bonham

AOD film, Mary Gagen

Mary Gagen

AOD film, Jozsef Vuts

Jozsef Vuts

AOD film, aerial, landscape

Aerial landscape view

AOD film, Peter Goodwin

Peter Goodwin

 

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two directors of cabinet making businesses keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

For more information, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall on 07816-384221.

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Press Release - October 2017

Defra Minister sees 120-year oak cycle in 120 minutes

As part of Grown in Britain Week, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, saw the entire oak cycle demonstrated on a single Suffolk estate in just two hours. A process that normally takes over a century from the planting of a seedling to the making of fine, British wood products was brought to life at the Sotterley Estate, courtesy of forestry manager, Miles Barne, and the team at Sutton Timber, based at Sotterley Sawmills.

The visit started by looking at two young oak compartments near the start of the cycle, aged four and twenty-four years. The new French system of silviculture designed to reduce the length of an oak rotation was demonstrated, with the four-year old compartment shared with an experimental crop of wild service to provide stand diversity. In the twenty-four-year-old compartment, oak ‘winners’ were pointed out, their canopies soon to be ‘halo-thinned’.

In growing oaks, success is never a ‘given’ especially with an increasing threat from pests and diseases as was demonstrated to Lord Gardiner by Woodland Heritage Chairman of Trustees, Lewis Scott, who showed the D-shaped exit holes of the Agrilus beetle on an oak infected with Acute Oak Decline.

Lord Gardiner said:

"I am immensely proud of our majestic oak, our national tree. My visit to the Sotterley Estate has given me a new understanding and admiration for the precise care and expertise it takes to grow oak to be tall, proud and healthy, ready to be turned in to beautiful wood products like the ones I saw today.

"But from pests to disease, our oak trees face a range of significant threats. This is why it is vital we work together, government, woodland owners and industry, to do all we can to protect oak in the environment by maintaining the highest biosecurity standards, undertaking surveillance and acting quickly if threats arrive."

To complete the silvicultural cycle, Miles Barneand forestry agent, Andrew Falcon, showed Lord Gardiner sixty ‘gun-barrel-straight’ oak logs that had been grown on the estate for 170 years and which had been felled recently and were then presented for sale.

At Sotterley Sawmills, Ben Sutton explained the range of products that Sutton Timber supplies, including boards of a range of thicknesses, as well as a wide selection of flooring products. In the on-site machine shop, Tom Jones (machinist and cabinet-maker), Philip Read (joiner and cabinet-maker) and Nick Shore (wood turner) demonstrated the wealth of uses for high quality timber that had created a variety of fine furniture and treen on display.

“Woodland Heritage is in the midst of investing some £2m into research into Acute Oak Decline, whilst also supporting activity throughout the timber supply chain that helps growers and users to benefit from this essential part of the UK economy”, said Lewis Scott. “To have had the chance in such a short time to show all of these important parts of our charity’s work to Lord Gardiner was a wonderful opportunity and we are most grateful to Miles Barne and Ben Sutton for helping to make this visit happen”.

Images from the event:

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, admiring ripple ash rocking chair with Ben Sutton

Lord Gardiner admiring ripple ash rocking chair with Ben Sutton

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, discussing oak logs

Discussing oak logs

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, enjoying Nick Shore's treen

Lord Gardiner enjoying Nick Shore's treen

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, Fine Oak from Miles Barne

Lord Gardiner receiving publication from Miles Barne

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, halo thinning explained beside a winner

Halo thinning explained beside a winner

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, Lewis Scott highlighting threat of AOD

Lewis Scott highlighting threat of AOD

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, Miles Barne and an AOD oak

Miles Barne and an AOD oak

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, oak's merits with Sally & Miles

Discussing oak's merits with Sally & Miles

Sotterley, Lord Gardiner, sharing a joke with Sally Goodwin

Lord Gardiner sharing a joke with Sally Goodwin

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

For any further information please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall on 07816-384221

Picture credits should be for Stephen Taber (Taber Photography)

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Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design 2017

Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design 2017

In August, Woodland Heritage was proud once again to continue its support for Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design by sponsoring the Best Use of British Timber Award to promote the use of British wood as a renewable natural resource. As in previous years, an award was made for the winning item, with another for a Highly Commended piece:

Winner 2017 - ‘Expanding Dining Table’ in British Brown Oak with a fantastic example of Brown Oak Burr veneer by George Johnson www.johnsonfurniture.co.uk

Rotating the table top causes the six segments that make up the top to move apart causing the expansion leaves to rise up from the centre and be unfolded to increase the surface area of the table top. The surface of the table offers the perfect canvas to display the most beautiful timbers to their full potential. By counting the growth rings of the Brown Burr Oak tree when it was felled it was estimated that the tree was at least 825 years old!

Judges Comment

“One of the best pieces of furniture that both the judges felt they had ever seen and certainly the most elegant solution of the expanding circular table challenge. A triumph of design, engineering, craftsmanship and selection of materials with an excellent write up of the maker’s discovery of the all-important Brown Oak burr veneer.

The base combines both elegantly and functionally with the top solving, so well, the stability, looks and space-for-the-knees problems.”

Highly Commended - 'Velo’ Chair in British Ash by Jan Waterston www.janwaterston.co.uk

Designed in response to modern bicycle design, the Velo Chair's components seamlessly change form and encapsulate the user. The complex free form lamination creates a strong yet flexible backrest and whilst utilising CNC technology merged with hand craft it is important to note that there is still an incredible amount of hand crafted work in this piece.

Judges Comment

“A brilliant combination of a traditional slightly ‘Windsor’ base with a state of the art laminated back rail. Beautifully made partly by hand and partly by CNC machinery. A clever design which makes use of the properties of Ash. The sculptural look almost conceals its comfort and flexibility and the steam bent back rail flexes slightly to adjust to the small of your back. Very comfortable - the sitter feels as if on a bicycle”.

For more information on this years winners and for details of previous winners please click here.

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Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, Cheltenham, 19-28 August 2017

Woodland Heritage is proud to sponsor the ‘Best Use of British Timber Award’ once again at the Celebration of Craftsmanship & Design, being held at Thirlestaine Long Gallery, Bath Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7LD. The event takes place between Saturday, 19th and Monday, 28th August inclusive, with the gallery open 10am-4pm daily; entrance fees are £3 for under-16s and £6 for adults. Full details can be found at www.celebrationofcraftsmanship.com.

Woodland Heritage is a vehicle for wood users to “put something back” and to contribute to the proper management of British trees. Using British timber encourages the sustainable and economic value of our woodlands, as well as supporting the wood chain. Well-managed, healthy woodlands can also provide an environment that supports wildlife, whilst ensuring traditional woodland skills are not lost.

Woodland Heritage’s prize of £500 will be awarded to the exhibit which demonstrates the best use of British timber, along with a Highly Commended prize of £250. Consideration will be given to “locally grown and locally used” especially where an entrant is able to provide proof, as well as in their use of timber, design and craftsmanship.

The winners, along with their exhibits, will be featured in the charity’s annual Journal.

Last year’s winner was Chris Wiseman (www.wisemanwoodworks.com) for his hand-made sideboard made of British sycamore and oak and which he entitled ‘Oak within’.

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Press Release - July 2017

Two Woodland Heritage trustees recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to forestry

Two Woodland Heritage trustees, Graham Taylor and Geraint Richards, have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to forestry in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Graham has been awarded an MBE for service to forestry, whilst Geraint has been awarded the MVO (Member of The Royal Victorian Order). Between the two of them they have been trustees of Woodland Heritage for over sixteen years.

Graham and Geraint have carved out very successful careers in forestry. Graham is director of the leading forestry consultancy Pryor and Rickett Silviculture, whilst Geraint is Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall.

Since both graduating from Bangor University, they have not only excelled in their ‘day jobs’, but have also notched up a huge range of other achievements, working tirelessly on a range of important initiatives, including Woodland Heritage, Future Trees Trust, European Squirrel Initiative and, more recently, they have been key figures in helping to set up the National Tree Improvement Strategy.

They have also maintained close links with their alma mater, Bangor University, during this time, including hosting regular forest visits, giving guest lectures in Bangor and, most importantly, inspiring numerous forestry@bangor students, many of whom have also gone on to attend Woodland Heritage’s Woodland to Workshop course for which Graham and Geraint are two of the tutors.

Lewis Scott, Chairman of trustees of Woodland Heritage commented, “Woodland Heritage is very proud to learn of this deserved recognition for Graham and Geraint, marking the great success they have achieved in their careers. Our charity is blessed to have such driving forces in the forestry industry as both advisors to our charity and as volunteers, ready to roll their sleeves up and help lead events such as our annual Field Weekend, at which our members learn so much. They also enable our charity to get involved in important initiatives individually, with Graham taking a leading role in the recent ‘Realising the Value of your Hardwoods’ film and Geraint giving us the chance to bring our longstanding work on AOD to the collective benefit of ongoing tree health work in the UK.”

ABOUT THE AWARDEES:

Geraint Richards. Head Forester, Duchy of Cornwall

Geraint studied at Bangor University from 1988-1992, including a year out with the FC in Thetford Forest and graduated with BSc Forestry (First Class Honours). He subsequently spent four years working for the Forestry Commission in Kent and Sussex and was then delighted to be appointed as Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall in 1996. He is now responsible for the management of the woodlands and forests across the Duchy of Cornwall’s landholding, some 5,000 acres of woodland altogether from shelterbelts on the Isles of Scilly to coniferous stands in Cornwall and high-quality ancient semi-natural woodlands in Herefordshire. He is currently involved with a wide range of U.K. and international forestry organisations and initiatives including Woodland Heritage (trustee), Future Trees Trust (co-chairman with Graham Taylor) and the UK Squirrel Accord plus on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. Geraint is particularly keen to see more young people enter and enjoy the forestry profession. Geraint lives in Cornwall and is married to Anne with five children. He is a passionate follower of the Welsh rugby team!

Graham Taylor. Director, Pryor and Rickett Silviculture

Graham studied at Bangor University from 1986-1990 and graduated with a Joint Honours in Forestry & Soil Science (making him one of those rare foresters who understands the medium that trees grow in). During his time at Bangor, he was instrumental in lobbying for theforestry@bangor degrees to include an optional year-long placement, which have remained ever since as a vital component of these degree programmes. Graham spent his year with the Forestry Commission. After graduating, he initially worked for Fountain Forestry in Hay-on-Wye. He then joined Pryor & Rickett Sliviculture (PRS) in 1993 as Assistant Forest Manager, becoming director in 1998 and have helping steer growth from a base of 2,500 hectares to about 20,000 ha of privately owned forestry which PRS manage / advise on behalf of some 350 private clients. Graham is a Trustee of Woodland Heritage and Co-Chairman of Future Trees Trust (with Geraint Richards). He is also on the management committee of European Squirrel Initiative (ESI) who are working on improving the extent and efficacy of grey squirrel control measures. Graham is regularly invited to speak at regional and national conferences and events. As well as the above he aims to spend time with family, keep fit (running / cycling) and is also involved in church work, running a youth group and other responsibilities. Three words sum Graham up in a nutshell: ‘Family, Faith & Forestry’.

ABOUT WOODLAND HERITAGE:

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline. HRH The Prince of Wales has been the Patron of Woodland Heritage since 2005.

For more information on this release, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall, Development Director, Woodland Heritage on 07816-384221.

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Wild service tree silviculture better understood after German tour

Wild service treesilviculture better understood after German tour

A Woodland Heritage funded tour of some of the finest sites in Germany for wild service tree has boosted UK-forestry knowledge of this potential alternative hardwood species. Planned and co-ordinated by forestry consultant, Christopher Guest, other attendees were Nick Marsh, a National Trust employee whose current Masters dissertation is focused on wild service, and Miles Barne, who is undertaking silvicultural trials on wild service in woodland on the Sotterley Estate in Suffolk.

Classed as a medium priority species in the Sustainable Seed Source Project’s report of 2015, wild service is recognised as having future timber potential, but its uptake is low in the UK with its form and productivity failing to match what has been achieved over the centuries in countries such as Germany and France.

“The three days spent in Germany (with a brief visit to France too) sought to boost the group’s knowledge of the potential for wild service in the UK, whilst at the same time being realistic about the risks of growing this much-overlooked species,” said group leader, Christopher Guest. “Thankfully, in areas such as North Frankonia in Bavaria, when the risks are overcome the rewards can be amazing with some of the most expensive veneer logs ever sold coming from the wild service grown in that region.”

Whilst oak is the main species in the University Forest District, Sailershausen, wild service contributes substantially to economic revenue attracting many study groups wanting to learn more about its silviculture. The Woodland Heritage funded group tackled topics such as seed collection, seeds versus suckers, planting (whether as patterns, pure or mixtures and densities), artificial or natural pruning, tending, thinning, diseases, markets and target diameters, all helping to understand how the finest wild service trees can reach 33m in 110 years.Genetic quality was also of major importance to the group, especially when considering the potential for sourcing for planting trials.

“The principal management aim in the Sotterley woodland is the production of fine quality oak timber,” said woodland manager, Miles Barne. “The estate’s interest in wild service results from an awareness that the principal hardwood species grown in Britain have recently become more vulnerable to diseases, some devastating for example, elm and ash. Oak at Sotterley already suffer from Acute Oak Decline and another mystery disease as yet unidentified. It therefore seems prudent to hedge the estate’s bets in a very small way by experimenting with minor species. The Estate has started with wild service by establishing simple trial plots to test how the species will grow in mixture with oak and also pure. It is hoped that more sophisticated trials can be established in time including, for example, a comparison of provenances and perhaps varied mixtures as seen at Sailershausen.”

As well as the visit to Sailershausen, the study tour also visited Lillientahl-Freiburg to view and discuss a provenance trial established in 1979 and to learn from the successes achieved and challenges presented in this experiment. The third visit was to forests in Saarland and Lorraine where natural regeneration of wild service has been occurring for many decades in principally mixed oak and hornbeam stands. The continuous cover management strategy in both of these regions is strictly focused on the production of premium quality timber.

Editor’s Notes:

For more information on this release, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall, Development Director, Woodland Heritage on 07816-384221.

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

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