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Climate Change

Woodland owners have always managed risk and uncertainty, but the pace and scale of environmental change experienced over the past 25 years and expected over the next 50 years presents a challenge of an altogether different order of magnitude.

In 2020 we published our position on climate change - Forestry and Climate Change - which recognises planting alone is not the key to climate change mitigation. Our Chief Executive Simon Lloyd chairs the Forestry Climate Change Working Group (FCCWG), which has published an action plan for key issues which need to be urgently addressed by foresters, landowners and all who care about our woodlands.

The British Woodland Survey 2020 reveals those who care for woodlands and forests across Britain are increasingly aware of the threats from environmental change, especially drought, wildfires, and pathogens, such as ash dieback and acute oak decline, yet there’s little evidence of action being taken overall to improve woodland resilience. Read the full report here. More on the British Woodland Survey here.

The following publications can be downloaded and provide more detailed information. Award winning QJF articles about building Forest Resilience and using alternative species can be found here.

Forestry And Climatechange Ccadaptation Frontcover Wn 020919   Action Plan For Climate Change Adaptation

RFS Forestry and Climate

Change Policy 2020

FCCWG Progress Report


FCCWG Action Plan Climate

Adapation 2018 

 Our Woodlands Are Changing Lr  Climate Change 2015  

RFS Report 'Planting for

Resilent Woods'  2018

Climate Change Accord




Additional information is available in the Forestry Commission's 2020 publication Managing England's

Woodlands in a Climate Emergency here


Fccwg Graphic 

FCCWG is tasked with driving forward The Climate Change Accord which was signed by 35 forestry organisations in 2015. The Group’s report Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation of forests, woods and trees in England recognises that climate change is having far-reaching impacts on the health and resilience of our trees and woods. Read the full report above.

Key issues

  • Not enough woodland is being planted to enhance resilience at a landscape scale.
  • Lack of management in many woodlands is hindering implementation of adaptation measures e.g. opportunities for natural regeneration (which can assist adaptation) are being reduced by deer browsing and the closed canopy structure of many woods.
  • New tree planting is not using sufficient quantities of genetically-diverse and/or appropriate stock, potentially limiting adaptive potential.
  • Nurseries are not providing a wide enough range of tree species of sufficient and appropriate genetic diversity.
  • The sector is not embracing contingency planning.
  • Low level of restocking is hindering implementation of adaptation measures.
  • Limited uptake of continuous cover approaches to management.
  • Forest planning and design is not taking account of climate change impacts and projections.
  • Lack of clarity on what adaptation measures are available and appropriate.
  • Lack of knowledge sharing of adaptation practices.
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities difficult to identify and access.