Should we be planting more trees or managing our existing woodlands? I have strong views on this that may not be shared by others. I’ve written on my blog before about the hundreds of thousands of hectares of woodlands in England that are not being managed (England’s wall of moribund woodland). I have also had a poke at the large number of short-sighted planting schemes that are resulting in low-value (read ‘unsustainable’) woodland littering our countryside (More forest plantations less green fuzz). Finally, I have discussed the likely scenarios of a future where, with 7 billion people to feed today increasing to 9 billion by 2050, land will be too important for food production to permit an increase in land area dedicated to the growing of wood fibre (Land for trees or food).
Next time I tackle my teenage daughter over the state of her bedroom, I could say “Never mind, just leave it and have this empty room next door and start over!”.
In short I believe simply that we should be managing our existing woodlands better before we plant more. If I was allowed a caveat it would be “to manage existing… at least while we plant more” so I may be tempted to answer “Both”. But what do you think? I would like all my readers to have a say by completing this poll. I am sure I can be criticised by trying to persuade my readers first and then ask them their views, and I’m sure a social scientist would have a field day! However, I am confident that there are many readers with equally strong views that will differ from mine and that they will not hold back in setting out their arguments by using the Comment box below, so we should have a good debate to help inform. So over to you …
I will keep this poll open for several months in the hope of a good response rate. I am sure that this poll need not only apply to English forests and land use, but also to many other countries around the world. So wherever you’re from, do have a say.