A large number of studies in the UK have indicated that managed woodlands increase in biodiversity value. Woodlands are not necessarily entities that can be left without any level of interference, they are changing environments and as trees grow bigger; the nature of the habitat will evolve. Lots of woodlands in the UK are composed of blocks of similar age trees. As these trees grow they will decrease the light reaching the forest floor.
Reducing the light at ground level will lower the number of different species able to survive in the woodland, which will have the impact of reducing habitat diversity. In a natural woodland, this scenario would not arise due to the uneven age structure of the woodland, and if it did, it would only be as one of a large number of different habitats in an area supporting a healthy ecosystem.
The nature of UK woodlands indicates that to retain the broad variety of habitats needed for our native wildlife, we often have to manage our woodlands to mimic and recreate the mosaic of habitats present in natural woodlands.
The overwhelming majority of opinion indicates that changes are taking place in the global climate caused by the release of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, this is likely to have a huge impact on the ecosystem and the growth of UK woodlands. An independent report Combating Climate Change – a role for UK forests has been commissioned by the FC, it Indicates that woodland provides an important buffering effect against climate change as well as providing resilience in affected ecosystems.
Managing woodlands has two key factors:
Establishing a mix of trees bearing in mind the changes in climate will further the rate at which woodlands can change and increase the ability of natural ecosystems to impact changes.
Planting as well as managing woodlands is one of the most impactful and efficient ways we have of removing atmospheric carbon and otherwise mitigating the impact of climate change.
The Woodland Carbon Code
The potential of woodlands to soak up CO2 from the atmosphere while offering a host of other benefits for society and biodiversity is being increasingly recognised, and many individuals and businesses wish to contribute to tree planting to help society soak up the carbon it emits. Prior to investing in such projects, Lots of individuals want to know that schemes will actually deliver the carbon savings that they claim. The Forestry Commission has introduced a Woodland Carbon Code to define best practice for these schemes.
Here at Woodland Creation Scotland, we offer a comprehensive range of tailored woodland creation services. Based in Perth, we are ideally placed to advise and manage woodland creation schemes across Scotland and have experience planting new woodlands across the country. To find out more about what we do, get in touch with us today, we’d be delighted to help!