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Temperate forests, livestock and climate change

  • by JW

How much ‘intervention’ is needed to regenerate woodland?


It’s clear we need to be planting more trees – but how and where is key.

The Woodland Trust has just brought out a guide:

This handbook aims to help with decisions about tree species in woodland creation projects… It seeks to ensure that species are well matched to the location and conditions of the site, and that trees establish in structures and communities where they thrive and can best contribute to nature recovery and ecological resilience.

Tree Species Handbook for Woodland Creation – Woodland Trust

We also need to be looking after our current batch of trees:

We need to bring back the wildwoods of Britain to fight climate change | Isabella Tree | The Guardian

The ancient oak forests of Dartmoor are magnificent – and need more than a helping hand:

Wistman’s Wood – An Ancient Woodland, Dartmoor

Visitor ban at Dartmoor’s Wistman’s Wood amid Natural England concerns over future of habitat – Devon Live

A new study from the University of Plymouth looks at the interplay of expanding woodland and making careful use of livestock on Dartmoor:

Ecologists and environmental scientists at the University of Plymouth demonstrated that browsing behavior by livestock is a huge determinant of the growth and connection of scrappy UK upland oak woodlands — so-called ‘temperate rainforests’… If prudently managed, trampling by grazing livestock such as ponies and cattle can open up areas of bracken and thus help support the conditions that temperate rainforests need to grow.

This degree of natural expansion, the scientists say, is unsatisfactory to effectively aid carbon storage, biodiversity provision, and flood mitigation at the scale or speed required in these upland landscapes. They propose instead tactically targeted interventions and selective planting into specific vegetation types to test the requirement for tree guards and other fortifications such as fences…

They have also teamed up with the creative agency Just Enough Brave on the Trees for Climate project, which developed a set of resources engineered to boost the accessibility of research for better native woodland expansion.

Temperate Rainforests Should Be Increased to Combat Climate Change and Meet UK’s Net-Zero Targets

Study explores how temperate rainforests can aid the fight against climate change — ScienceDaily

With a short video making the point:

Livestock can help reforestation process if managed carefully – research | The National.