• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

"Planting trees in woods" (1 Viewer)


Dave Cox
My headline is a scathing quote from the late, great, Prof Oliver Rackham (1986).

I'm very pleased to read these remarks in the latest RSPB mag, "Nature's Home" :

"Is tree planting the answer ?

The right trees in the right places

Picking the wrong trees may mean that they will struggle to thrive or provide ecosystem benefits.
New trees need to be native species matched to the local soil type and biodiversity profile, and planted for the right reasons -
without damaging other valuable habitats, such as meadowland.

Protecting surviving woodland

Protecting existing native woodlands and expanding them is both biodiversity and tacking climate change.
Allowing existing woodland to expand naturally as trees set their own seeds ensures a diverse habitat
that benefits a wide variety of species.
It also creates a scrubby, intermediate phase that provides a home for birds such as the willow tit.

New trees

But planting trees also has its place.
Trees chosen by experts to allow us to control the mix of species and give the maximum boost to local wildlife.
It also allows woodlands to be established faster and with a greater degree of control.
But the need for large numbers of saplings can create pressures to import young trees
and these can bring in disease, such as ash dieback.

Never on deep peat

Trees should never, ever be planted on deep peat.
There is increasingly compelling scientific evidence that restoration of deep peat habitats is the best way of
securing carbon stores and sequestering more carbon in the long term."

I'll finish with another Rackham quote : "the most effective conservation measure is three strands of barbed wire"
(to keep out destructive mammals such as deer, sheep and swine).

Anyone disagree / like to comment ?


Well-known member
The problem with barbed wire and other kinds of fences is that they can injure other animals too. For example, Capercaillie and Great Bustard are known to be vulnerable to deer fences, on account of flying into them (they are not the most graceful fliers). In the UK, there's plenty of instances of hedgehogs and other small critters getting stuck in fences or other types barriers.

But other than that, it's hard to disagree. Unfortunately, the planting of trees and other "compensatory measures" in inappropriate habitat is not a rare occurrence, due to how bureaucracy works. Also applies to local authorities trying to create "wildflower meadows" with random seeds, half of which are likely to not even be native to the continent.

Users who are viewing this thread