An English Rainforest

Nestling among the barren wilderness of Dartmoor is one of three rare wild woods. Piles Copse is a woodland mainly comprising pedunculate oak Quercus robur. The trees, festooned with mosses and lichens, are rich in biodiversity. It is an English rainforest, and a relic of woodland which once covered much of the hilly region. Read More

Best replacement tree species to mitigate the loss of ash in Britain

As the spread of ash dieback across Britain becomes noticeable, there is a peak in interest about the consequences of ash dieback, with landowners and conservationists seeking good advice about what tree species is best to plant to help nature recover. Here’s a simply summary for landowners, based of peer-reviewed research. Read More

Ash dieback is an environmental calamity that will cost Britain £15 billion

A research paper published today estimates that the cost of ash dieback in Britain will reach £15 billion. I was privileged to have supported lead author Louise Hill as an external supervisor, and to be a co-author of the paper. Read More

A trait-based approach for forest ecosystem management

One of my more recent co-authored research articles has been selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Applied Ecologist’s Blog . The paper, Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great Britain by Louise Hill et al, focusses on the importance of using plant functional traits to predict potential changes to an ecosystem, following the loss of a key species. Read More

Silvology defined

Silvology: redefining the biological science for the study of forests With co-author Jens Peter Skovsgaard I propose a formal definition for a term that describes the scientific study of forests and woods: silvology.   In contrast to other disciplines no terminology has developed to distinguish the practice of silviculture from its scientific counterpart. For example,… Read More

Shaping the future of forestry

This week Sylva Foundation published the long-awaited report for the British Woodlands Survey 2017: Shaping the Future of Forestry. It’s been a labour of love working alongside my fellow authors. We were victims of our own success in attracting such a fantastic response from so many people across Britain: 1,630 stakeholders took part, representing one-fifth… Read More

Help shape the future of forestry

Devolution, pests & pathogens, Brexit, emerging markets, climate change, societal attitudes . . . these are just some of the momentous factors influencing our trees and woodlands, those who care for them, and those who rely on their products and services. Have your say about what these and other issues mean to you by taking… Read More