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Improving Biodiversity in Lowland Planted Woodlands

Carried out by: Falkland Stewardship Trust/Dr Rick Worrell

Summary Description:

Woodlands planted on arable land and improved pasture fail to develop woodland plant communities and remain dominated by grass and agricultural weeds; even in old woods. This severely limits their biodiversity value, including impacts on some invertebrate populations; and reduces the amenity and recreational appeal of the woods.

This can be addressed via careful introductions of missing woodland plant species aimed at simply establishing small viable populations that can colonise the wood over time. There are a few trials of woodland plant introductions in Scotland and England; but none have used this approach and are suitable for long term monitoring and research.

Research Objectives:

a) Establish long term demonstration sites to test the feasibility of introductions, provide evidence of outcomes, refine methodology and seek cost-effective approaches.

b) Arrange training events focused on good conservation management of lowland planted woods.

Outcomes:

1) a paper(s) describing improved management practices;

2) enhanced understanding and professional capacity amongst managers;

3) a long term research resource;

4) a student dissertation.

Timescale: 2017-2020

SFT Funds Awarded: £2,500

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59 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2JG  tel: 0131 240 1413  fax: 0131 240 1411 E: director@scottishforestrytrust.org.uk

Scottish Forestry Trust is a registered charity (Scottish Charity No. SC008465).