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According to the Forestry Commission, at the start of the twentieth century, just 5% of Britain was woodland. After a lot of work and attention that percentage has now risen to 12% and is thankfully set to continue increasing. The key factor in this important upturn is sustainable forestry or sustainable forest management as it is also known.
What is a sustainable forest? In a nutshell it is a forest which is managed carefully so that as trees are felled, usually at around 25-30 years old, they are replaced with seedlings which will in turn mature. This constant renewal means that biodiversity and ecosystems are protected as without this vital work it is likely that many wildlife species would be endangered or may even disappear altogether. Your typical sustainable forest will have trees of all ages and a variety of species which allows flora and fauna to thrive.
Here in the UK over 50% of forests now hold PEFC Sustainable Forest Management certification whereas globally, this number is just 10%. Thankfully, it is clear that the UK is moving in the right direction. At Backwell Woods we are working with the Forestry Commission to bring the woodland back into sustainable management and even have a large section of our woodland which is untouched in order to allow the wildlife there to flourish.