- Slides: 14
FORESTRY IN UNITED KINGDOM
General information about forestry • Forestry is the management of trees and forests for environmental or economic gain. The United Kingdom being in the British Isles, is ideal for tree growth, thanks to its mild winters, plentiful rainfall, fertile soil and hill-sheltered topography. Growth rates for broadleaved (hardwood) trees exceed those of mainland Europe, while conifer (softwood) growth rates are three times those of Sweden and five times those of Finland. In the absence of people, much of Great Britain would be covered with mature oaks, except for Scotland. Although conditions forestry are good, trees do face damage threats arising from fungi, parasites and pests. • Nowadays, about 12. 9% of Britain's land surface is wooded and this area is increasing.
• Of the 31, 380 square kilometres (12, 120 sq mi) of forest in Britain, around 30% is publicly owned and 70% is in the private sector. More than 40, 000 people work on this land. Broadleaves account for 29% of Britain's woodlands, the rest being conifers, but considering only England, the figures are 55% broadleaf and 45% conifer. Britain's native tree flora comprises 32 species, of which 29 are broadleaves. Britain's industry and populace uses at least 50 million tonnes of timber a year. More than 75% of this is softwood, and Britain's forests cannot supply the demand; in fact, less than 10% of the timber used in Britain is homegrown. Paper and paper products make up more than half the wood consumed in Britain by volume
England's forests: a brief history of trees • William, however, introduced "Forest Law", which claimed the woodlands as the hunting grounds of kings. Anyone stealing or killing a deer or boar would be in a whole heap of trouble: by the end of Richard the Lionheart's reign in 1198, that punishment was mutilation, including the removal of your eyes and other unmentionable parts. • Soon afterwards, Forest Law was modified under the Magna Carta, but the scrabble forests – and the money that could be made from them – continued until well into the 17 th century. Hunting, though, remained the preserve of kings; they had monopolies on the forests and many of the animals, too. Famously, Henry VIII could wear out eight horses in one day, while the insecure Charles I found relief and confidence in his unquestioned abilities as a hunter (Van Dyck's portrait of Charles I at the Hunt hangs in the Louvre in Paris).
• The navy had, for many years, depended on English forests for their ships. According to legend, the Spanish asked one of their ambassadors, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, to sneak up and set fire to the Forest of Dean, hoping it would give their Armada an advantage. As England's navy grew, the need for timber began to seriously pick away at the woodland: from an estimated land coverage of 15% in 1086, England's forests and woods had dwindled to just 5. 2% by 1905. • The first world war was the low point, and in 1916 Herbert Asquith's government established the Acland committee to study the problem. They said England desperately needed to replenish and maintain "strategic reserves of timber", and within a few years the Forestry Act would lead to the establishment of the Forestry Commission to carry this out.
Great English Trees • The 2000 -year-old lime Standing humbly amid all the wonderful specimens of the National Arboretum at Westonbirt is one of England's oldest trees: a small-leaved lime that may be up to 2, 000 years old. The tree was coppiced down to its stumps last November; then artist Richard Harris was commissioned to create a sculpture in its honour, using hundreds of its cut stems.
• Bowthorpe Oak England's oldest oak is not in a forest but on a grassy meadow, near the town of Bourne in southern Lincolnshire. Thought to be more than 1, 000 years old, it has a hollow trunk of about 12 metres, the inside of which was once used as a tearoom with door and roof built in. It is listed by Guinness World Records, and can be visited at Bowthorpe Park Farm.
• Big Belly Oak Savernake Forest in Wiltshire is a small and precious souvenir of the wild woodland that once covered much of southern England. At the heart of Savernake stands the Big Belly Oak, a giant of the sessile oak variety, with a girth of more than 11 metres. The tree is believed to have taken root in the days of William the Conqueror, around 1, 000 years ago. You can spot it by the side of the A 346, south of the hamlet of Cadley.
• Knightwood Oak In the middle of the New Forest, at the start of Bolderwood Ornamental Drive, is Knightwood Oak, the forest's largest and one of its oldest, too. In the 1990 s, its girth was recorded at 7. 4 metres and growing – despite its wood having been harvested over hundreds of years using the ancient system of pollarding. Learn more about the tree from this podcast.
• King of Limbs An ancient giant of Wiltshire's Savernake Forest, the King of Limbs is a pollarded oak – a traditional technique for harvesting timber while encouraging new growth. Thought to be about 1, 000 years old and once described as "a giant octopus erupted from the deep", this oak gained a legion of new fans when the band Radiohead named an album after it.
A top ten of the UK’s largest forests • The UK is Europe’s second-least wooded country: only Ireland has less trees. This does not mean that the UK is without large forests. I’ve compiled a top ten of the UK’s largest forests Name Region km 2 miles 2 1. Galloway Forest Park Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland 770 297 2. Kielder Forest Park Northumberland, England 610 235 3. New Forest Hampshire, England 270 104 4. Dornoch Forest Sutherland, Scotland 260 100 5. Argyll Forest Park Argyll, Scotland 210 81 6. Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Stirling, Scotland 200 77 7. Thetford Forest Park Norfolk / Suffolk, England 190 73 8. Affric Forest Invernesshire, Scotland 180 69 9. Tay Forest Park Perthshire, Scotland 170 65 10. Glengarry Forest Invernesshire, Scotland 165 63
• Seven out of the 10 are forests in Scotland, including the largest Galloway Forest Park. Three of the top 10 are in England, including the second largest in the UK; Kielder Forest. Welsh forests do not feature in the top 10 although a close contender is Clocaenog Forest in West Denbighshire/Conwy Wales, which is 100 km² (40 miles²) in area. • I’ve created a Google map showing the top ten forest locations in the UK.
Sources • http: //www. theguardian. com/ • https: //gabrielhemery. com/ • https: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Forestry_in_the_United_Kingdom
Information about authors • Przemysław Hałasiński , class IIc • Kajetan Jóźwiak , class IIc • Jakub Kaźmierski , class IIc The Name of school: I Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Ziemi Kujawskiej we Włocławku