Putting Cumbria on the global forestry map

Date: Friday 23rd May 2014

A GATHERING of forestry experts from Britain, Europe and North America at a special three-day conference which is to be held next month will help put Cumbria on the global forestry map, its organiser has said.

The Continuous Cover Forestry Conference is being organised by Penrith-based forester Ted Wilson (right), from the Continuous Forestry Group, and will take place at Braithwaite Institute, near Keswick, from 3rd to 5th June.

Mr. Wilson said: “The response from forestry experts all over the world has been overwhelming and every single place is already booked up.”

After a winter that brought gales and record rainfall to much of the UK, experts at the conference will discuss how woodlands full of different tree species of varying ages could help to reduce flooding in many forested regions.

The Lake District contains numerous examples of this continuous cover forestry also known as close to nature forest management which are not only more resilient to climate change but also less prone to pests and diseases and more resistant to high winds.

A personal message of support from the Prince of Wales will open the conference, and his own head forester, Geraint Richards, will be attending the event.

More than 100 delegates, including many woodland owners and forestry professionals, from as far afield as the Continent, California and Canada will attend indoor and outdoor lectures and join study trips conducted by 30 leading scientists and influential policy makers.

A rare opportunity to visit Forestry Commission woodlands in West Cumbria at Blengdale and Miterdale is oversubscribed.

Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, said: “We are very pleased that the Lake District national park is host for this important international conference. It will demonstrate how continuous cover forestry can play a key role in the face of climate change and continue to deliver a wide range of benefits for the environment and society.

The Continuous Cover Forestry Group was established in 1991 by a small group of foresters who believed the UK should adopt a wider range of forestry systems.