Please be aware that the below is not a definite statement of intent – please think of it as a word document or googledoc which is open for you and us to comment on. That way we can all see what the ideas up for discussion are, write down new ones and debate whether or not they’re good ideas.
We will increase forest cover on the estate with an emphasis on agroforestry to deliver tree fodder, biomass, timber and diverse food crops.
- Produce a vision of the forestry on the estate that considers the next 100 years of tree growing and builds on the work of the Elmhirsts and Hiley.
- Review how we consider trees and forests as part of the estate. Continue developing our agroforestry to link agriculture with trees; closer working with the estates and arboriculture teams on how individual trees can be better used; soften the boundaries of trees and other land-uses such as agriculture or riparian zones.
- Ensure forest health as a major priority. This includes soil health, ecological health and tree health all of which are vital for the long-term resilience of our forests.
- Consider what species we plant based on what will thrive in the long-term and what products & ecosystem services they can provide. This could include diversifying age structure and species and should not be blinkered by traditional views of “forestry”, “native” or “exotic” but should be decisions based on the what is best for the long-term health of the forest resource.
- Link the forest to timber-users in a more explicit and innovative way. This will include the evolution of Woodlands Yard and considering how new digital technologies can enhance the value of our trees and provide timber to a broad range of society.
- Innovate in our forest products. The potential for non-timber forest products and agroforestry whether that be fruit, fungi or bio-distillation to produce a new generation of cellulose based plastic alternatives.
- Where there are opportunities that make commercial and ecological sense increase the tree cover on the estate whether that be forest blocks, agroforestry or individual trees.
- Currently we’re exploring the potential for silvopastural systems on the estate, looking particularly at Plum Plot (in front of Old Parsonage Farm) and Yarner Beacon.