Friday, 13 January 2012

England's Forests: Some (Inconvenient ?) Truths.....

Of the 17% which are Forestry Commission managed:
  • 72% are exotic conifer plantations (some will be pretty, most are blankets of spruce).
  • The main system of commercial forestry in the public forests is clearfelling and replanting.
  • 2,500 hectares of forest is "restocked" each year. 
  • That means about that area was clearfelled. *
  • 2,500 ha is 25 square kilometers, or getting on for ten square miles of felling each year. (If it was all in one place, that is about the area of Epping Forest. Of course it's not, some will be in sensitive small areas, but some will be in large swathes.) 
  • The felled area is replanted mainly with more conifers, about 75%.

*It does not have to be like this. It's effectively the Forestry Commission's choice. It could be manage by Continuous Cover methods. Clearfelling of the sort practiced by the FC in England's public forests is completely illegal in Slovenia for instance.

My Blog on really changing England's forestry 

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