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Continuous Cover – Broadleaves in the Lowlands

A Pilot Research Stand has now been set up in a mixed conifer compartment at Stourhead (Western) Estate by Julien Tomasini, the AFI technician, Phil Morgan and myself.

Phil in particular is now fully conversant with using the protocols in practice. This compartment was selected after looking at a number of stands at Stourhead and although it is rather large (at 24 ha) the mixture of species and good structure made it the ideal choice for the first British “Dispositif”. We set up 12 permanent plots rather than the usual 10. The first set of silvicultural results has been produced and the summary sheet translated (see bottom of page).

The remaining time with Julien was spent looking at broadleaved stands at Rushmore and Melbury in order to give the AFI an idea of the rather different stand structures with which we have to deal here, so that we could determine the criteria for selection of stands in the British Network. It was felt that this was more worthwhile than trying to squeeze in setting up another Research Stand without proper consideration of site selection.

All the main protocols concerning data collection, both silvicultural and economic, sampling arrangements and quality assessment have now been translated. There will be some small adjustments for British conditions, for example complete enumerations before the research stand sample plots are established, will not be required.

Phil Morgan has attended the AFI AGM in France and completed the negotiations over using the protocol in Britain. The AFI would like to be involved with site selection, whilst realising that the criteria will be somewhat different from France. They are happy to allow SelectFor to undertake, or train others in doing, the mensuration.

Overall we now have a proven protocol which can be applied in Great Britain.

I have started looking at funding opportunities for Stage Two: Forest Research are considering whether they can help and there may a possibility of a joint approach to the Scottish Forestry Trust with a British University. An extension into the Republic of Ireland is also on the cards and this may have spin offs for the British Network.

We shall be able to explore the results of Stage One at the next WH Field Meeting at Stourhead (Western) in June. We will also have the results of a second complete enumeration of three sample stands at Stourhead comparing the first set of measurements in 2000 which is being funded by Forest Research this winter.

We have achieved everything which we set out to achieve in Stage One and hope that you agree that it has been very worthwhile.

Thank you Woodland Heritage for your generous support for this project.

Editor’s Note: For the full technical report please visit www.selectfor.com
or contact Woodland Heritage.

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