Forests Through The Ages

Woodland clothed much of the British Isles until historically very recently. Much of it was managed and moulded by Man for centuries. During that period the land was cleared of trees and used to satisfy the demands of the increasing human population for timber, fuel and farmland.

Although we may decry modern deforestation of tropical rainforests in the Amazon or Indonesia, we should remember that our ancestors cleared our trees here too and for many of the same reasons.

The types of woodland left here today reflect changes in land use and society over several thousand years.

By the end of World War I, woodland cover shrunk to an all time low of around 5%.

Today the figure has grown to 10%.

One day in the not too distant future, 20% or perhaps more of Britain will be shrouded by forest again.