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Resilient Woods

The RFS believes the long-term health of Britain’s woods and trees is threatened by rapid environmental change. We need to take action to increase the resilience of our woodlands so they can better adapt to challenges, including new pests and diseases and climate change. This will require significant adaptation, over time, to many well established and widely accepted woodland management practices.

 Wellmanaged Treehealthspecies Wn230518  Badly Managed Treehealthstrategy Wn230518

Excellence in woodland management is vital: Trees, woods and forests in the best condition are more resilient to stress and best able to resist the threat from pests and diseases



Unmanaged and badly managed woodlands can harbour and spread diseases 

  • As a member of the Tree Health Group, we welcome the Government’s Tree Health Resilience Strategy (May 2018) with its emphasis on a collaborative approach to improving the baseline diversity, health and condition of our trees, woods and forests, though a National Action Plan and an increase in biosecurity. Download the full report right.
  • Support Action Oak, a partnership between landowner,forestry and environmental organisations, launched by Lord Gadrner, Defra Minister, to protect oak trees from  a range of threats. RFS President Andrew Woods represents the RFS on the Action Oak Knowledge Exchange and Woodland Practice sub-group chaired by Tony Kirkham. More here
  • Read our Chief Executive Simon Lloyd's Tree Charter blog here on the need to plant a wider choice of tree species, native and non natives, to ensure woodland resilience for the future.
  • We have included resilience as key element in our policies on woodland management and pests and diseases
  • are leading proponents of the Climate Change Accord: a call for resilient woods, forests and trees, supporting the need for a collective effort across the forestry sector to ensure transition is well informed by available evidence, and all landowners and managers are engaged in the process
  • are signatories to the Squirrel Accord which recognises the severe threat grey squirrels pose, particularly to broadleaved woodlands. The Accord is aiming to develop effective partnerships to control grey squirrels both where they are a threat to woodlands and to red squirrels
  • have launched our Species Profile Project that features alternative tree species that might be used in Britain to build resilient for climate change
  • are partners in SilviFuture, a network established to promote and share knowledge about novel forest species across Britain
  • support the British Woodland Survey hosted by Sylva Foundation. Results of the 2017 survey are available here
  • actively recognise woodlands that demonstrate management and planning for resilience through our Excellence in Forestry Awards
  • make available case studies on award winning woodlands planted for resilience here


The RFS 2015 NDG James conference, hosted jointly with the Woodland Trust, focussed on Resilient Woods: Meeting the Challenges with a high profile line-up of speakers considering resilience from a wide range of perspectives. Their presentations are available here.  Reflections from that day on the need for Resilient Woods from  conference Chairs, Speakers and Delegates can be seen in video above 

Attachment    (click to download)
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