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Developing urban silviculture

As part of Cardiff City Council’s 10 year ‘Coed Caerdydd’ programme we’ve been surveying some of the 400+ hectares of the city’s woodland and cast an eye over current scenes and activity. The aim..

…to see how we can support the incredible teams already looking after the trees and help them develop a programme for reusing the arisings from the city’s arboricultural operations.

Looking back

How can we help Cardiff re-invigorate it’s pioneering past of timber reuse throughout the city? Reviewing the trees that must come down for safety reasons through Cardiff’s streets, parks, and woodlands there are endless possibilities. Cardiff is rich with diverse tree species as well as rich in a history of urban silviculture.  From hornbeam coppice for pit props, through larch for rugby posts, to an extensive arboretum for amenity.

Timber reuse

As always, the future timber reuse needs to balance with what is achievable and realistic. Whilst also considering the needs and wants of ecosystems and communities. More engagement and increased knowledge about the management, life and history of Cardiff’s trees would be a major plus for the project.

Drawing on the extensive knowledge of the woodland and arboricultural teams. The Coed Caerdydd project brings in our experience working in other urban centres with Lantern through London, and in the use of timber from open-grown trees. It considers:

  • The historical and geographical setting

  • The timber type and quality becoming available

  • How to use that timber

  • What additional resources to source

  • And potential alternative ways of working

Urban forestry and the community

We are really excited about this project and the opportunity to put Cardiff at the forefront of urban forestry. Not just in the UK, but globally by demonstrating that trees in urban environments are not just about aesthetics and shade but can be part of a more complex and sustainable silviculture. The work we’re doing can certainly help meet the ambitions of Cardiff’s One Planet climate change strategy. But this is about more than the 2030 carbon neutrality goals. Central to achieving the bold and much needed targets are the people and communities in Cardiff.


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