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Posts tagged ‘forests’

European Forest Week – let’s celebrate

December 8, 2013

Gabriel Hemery

European Forest Week 2013
European Forest Week 2013

European Forest Week 2013

Europe’s forests are thriving—make the smart choice and use them responsibly—so says the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Europe leads the way in sustainable forest management, both politically and practically, being the only global region where forests are growing in volume and expanding in area. The forest sector in Europe is playing a lead role in “greening” the economy by improving human well-being and social equity, while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

The idea behind European Forest Week, which runs from 9 – 13 December, is to celebrate and raise awareness on the good health of forests in Europe.

Some of the main messages of European Forest Week

  • Wood— the smart choice in your daily life and the renewable way to build, heat and furnish your home
  • Healthy forests safeguard Europe’s future
  • Sustainable forests contribute to a sustainable economy
  • Using forest products, the smart choice, will reduce our environmental footprint
  • Innovative wood products are the future – from traditional wood products to the latest high-performance engineered products, quality wood products meet traditional and modern structural needs.
  • Have you seen your green factory, visited by millions of people every year?

Links

European Forest Week – official webpage

Our Forests online poster to share

July 2, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests online poster (114kb compressed)

Our Forests has created a poster to be shared online to promote grassroot’s demands to Government concerning the future of England’s forests. With the announcement from the Independent Panel on Forestry just 36 hours away, here’s a chance to remind everyone why the issue is so important.

Right click and select Save As to download the poster image and feel free to Share via social media (links below).

Our Forests online poster (114kb compressed)

Our Forests online poster (114kb compressed)

Our Forests online poster (418kb low quality)

Our Forests online poster (418kb low quality)

Our Forests online poster (4.39mb high quality)

Our Forests online poster (4.39mb high quality)

Gabriel Hemery

Early Day Motion in Parliament concerning the future of England’s public forests

June 27, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

An Early Day Motion (or EDM) has been tabled by Caroline Lucas MP today at UK parliament, calling for a debate on the future of England’s public forests based on the grass roots statement co-ordinated by Our Forests.

The EDM can be accessed here.

The statement from grass roots organisations concerned about the future of England’s piblic forests says:

“We believe that public ownership of the Public Forest Estate must be secured, through new legislation. The rich cultural, historical and natural diversity of our forests and woods, and full access to them, is best protected under the continued stewardship of the Forestry Commission, fully resourced to sustainably manage and expand our multi-purpose Public Forest Estate now and in the future.”

Read more

Public ready to rise up again if Government fails them over public woods & forests

June 27, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests

The Independent Panel on Forestry is due to publish its report and recommendations to Government on the future of our public woods and forests (the Public Forest Estate), the Forestry Commission and England’s woodland and forestry policy in general on Wednesday, 4th July.

Our Forests has been in contact with many of those groups who share our concerns and who have signed up to the following public statement, which has today been put to Government and sent out to all 171 Members of Parliament that have public woods and forests within their constituencies:

“We believe that public ownership of the Public Forest Estate must be secured, through new legislation. The rich cultural, historical and natural diversity of our forests and woods, and full access to them, is best protected under the continued stewardship of the Forestry Commission, fully resourced to sustainably manage and expand our multi-purpose Public Forest Estate now and in the future.”

This statement has been fully endorsed by the following grassroot campaigns:

 

The Our Forests ginger group recently conducted a national survey together with 38 Degrees. Just under 90% of those responding said they would campaign against the Government if their concerns about and hopes for England’s public woods and forests are not met. Read the Survey summary.

Rich Daniels, Our Forests member and chair of Hands Off Our Forest said:

”It would seem political suicide to do so, but the evidence on record from Parliament is that the Government could put significant areas of public woods and forests back on the market. If they go against the public will on this issue, they can expect a conflagration in constituencies across England. It would be unwise for Government to think that the sale of any significant part of OUR public Forests and woods would pass without reigniting the flames of protest in the hearts of people and forest communities across England. The prospect of any our public woods and forests being threatened again after we have fought so hard to protect them will be met with even more determined campaigning.”

Our Forests press release 27 June 2012Read the full press release

Our Forests 38 Degrees survey results summaryRead the Survey summary.


Read more about Our Forests

National survey confirms public support for our forests

June 27, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests

Our Forests was formed to ensure that the public’s concerns and aspirations for our woods and forests are taken into account by the Government-appointed Independent Panel on Forestry, to persuade the NGO community to adopt a more proactive stance on the issue in line with the public’s concern, and to put forward a positive Vision for all of England’s woods and forests. We published a Vision in January 2012.

To explore whether that Vision accorded with what people who are passionate about forests and woods want for the future, the group engaged with members of 38 Degrees via a focus group and through conducting a robust on-line survey that yielded statistically significant results. These activities harnessed the considerable reach and experience of 38 Degrees in bringing together a wide cross-section of people to take action on issues that matter to them (534,000 people signed up to 38 Degrees on-line petition to ‘Save Our Forests!’ ).

Headline results

  • Just under 90% of those surveyed (1,292 respondents – including people from across the UK,
    but predominantly England) are ready to campaign against the Government if their concerns
    about and hopes for their public woods and forests are not met.
  • Over 98% want to see an end to short-termist political interference with our public woods and
    forests.
  • Nearly 90% felt that our public woods and forests merited Government (i.e. public taxpayer)
    support.
  • 65% of people were prepared to contribute a minimum of £5.00 (33% from £5.00 – £10.00) to
    more than £10.00 (32%) per year as taxpayers (current settlement granted to Public Forest
    Estate amounts to c. 30p per taxpayer per annum).
  • 91% felt the Forestry Commission was ‘needed to look after our woods and forests’.
  • 86% of those surveyed support Our Forests’ Vision for ‘one billion more trees’.
  • 87% of people supported a doubling of England’s overall tree-cover from 10% to 20% over next
    50 years.

Our Forests 38 Degrees survey results summary

Read a summary of the Our Forests 38 Degrees survey

Top ten gifts for the tree and nature lover

November 11, 2011

Gabriel Hemery

tree gifts

With Christmas just over one month away, we are all beginning to think about gifts for friends and family. Here’s my top ten list of gifts for all tree, woodland and nature lovers.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, I hope this is of some help. If you know of other ideas, why not add them as a comment and share with other readers?

Ten

A tree! Maybe this should be number one.  Look for the unusual and beautiful, such as those that produce food too: e.g. Black mulberry or a walnut cultivar. There are several companies that can deliver trees direct in the post presented in gift wrap. For something a little different why not gift some native hedging, containing dogwood, spindle, wayfarer, hazel and hawthorn (or ‘quicks): you need to account for about 6 plants per metre (or yard) and about 50% should be hawthorn.

Nine

Top quality pruning tools make all the difference when caring for your trees; reducing tree damage while improving your safety.

Eight

Tremendous tree books and Magical films

Seven

A camera to provide a focus for tree and nature interest. Read more about Tree Photography.

Six

Why not have a hot drink in the outdoors without having to make up and carry a flask?  The engineering of the kelly kettle or storm kettle are fantastic:- boil enough water for a couple of mugs of hot tea with just a few twigs. It’s good fun too and kids love it.

Five

If you live in the UK the ForestXplorer app from the Forestry Commission for use with the iPhone: “carry the forest in your pocket”.  Download or gift from it from the itunes store. An alternative smartphone gift would be a level or theodolite app, which can be used to measure the height of a tree.

Four

A quality bushcraft knife, using handmade quality steel using local hardwoods for the handle, such as the Woodlander series from Ben Orford.

Three

A top quality tree planting spade. Look for full strapping, where the metal extends right up the wooden handle. Foresters prefer to use a Schlick:- a design that can be used anywhere and will last a lifetime.  Here’s one UK forestry supplier’s description.

Two

Serious forester gadgets to help measure and assess trees and woodlands.  Consider a clinometer (for estimating tree height), diameter tape (for measuring tree stem diameter), or a GPS for plotting the location of trees and woodland boundaries.  When it comes to keeping all those notes dry, I’m a huge fan of the WeatherWriter clipboards.

One

Being comfortable in the great outdoors makes all the difference, and will help make most of many of these gifts when using them in the woods. Quality jackets such as those by Patagonia or Swanndri (especially the latter’s famous bush shirt) combine unique features and construction to provide silent wear (great for watching wildlife) and comfort in inclement weather. Don’t forget feet either, as cold toes will ruin any day in the countryside. You can’t beat a pair of neoprene-lined wellington boots for the ultimate in luxury and comfort, such as those made by Chameau or Hunter.

tree giftsSome free ideas

  • Sign up or gift a membership to TreeWatch.com – adopt a local tree and help contribute to the future of trees across Europe.
  • A subscription to this blog – it’s free!  Just enter your, or a friend’s, email in the FOLLOW ME box at the bottom of this page ….

Gabriel Hemery

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