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What Future for Coastal Forests?

Over the years we’ve had an increasingly deep connection with the woodlands that fringe out coast.  Dramatic landscape features dipping their branches into the sea and estuaries.  But what is the future of these coastal forests?

We have been lucky enough to receive funding from the Forestry Innovation Fund to look at just this. It follows work that we helped the Woodland Trust complete looking at the current distribution and potential research themes for these unique landscape features. The initial reports can be downloaded here and here.

During the next three years we will be using the Dart Estuary as a case study to:

– Survey the woodland exposed to saline water and saline wind.  Consider if it is in good ecological and silvicultural condition. We look forward to another exciting collaboration with our good friends at Corylus Ecology on this.

– Look at its history and cultural significance.

– Engage with landowners, managers, local communities and communities of users.

– Investigate future climate on a macro and micro scale.  Looking at how this may effect these unique landscape resources, for example in increases of salinity of winds.

– With the advise of the Future Trees Trust, propose the establishment of trial plots to test seed sources for salt tolerance.

– Work with land owners and Moor Trees to plant and monitor these trial plots.

Perhaps the most exciting piece of the coastal forests work is that is marks a significant change in how we work.  We are now in a position to not only undertake research for clients but commission our own research. Hopefully this is the first of many small pieces research we can undertake for the benefit of the landscape and the ecologies and communities that inhabit it. Simultaneously, it’s an opportunity for us to bring together some of our community of experts into a piece of work very close to our hearts.


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