The woodland area in the UK is currently (2014) over 3.1 million hectares. Although 11,000 ha of new woodland were created during 2012/13, the UK is still the third largest global net importer of timber (behind China and Japan). As global forests diminish and emerging currencies become ever stronger, the long-term potential of woodlands for economic timber production and as an invaluable climate change mitigation tool, gets ever stronger.
One key challenge for the UK woodland sector is the movement of plant material between countries and continents, which is bringing with it new threats and challenges from introduced pests and diseases.
NIAB EMR’s research on woodland tree species, funded by UK government, businesses and the third sector, focuses on genetic improvement and pest and disease control as well as the enhancement of woodlands for their biodiversity value. All this work builds on the tree-related science that has been based at East Malling for over a hundred years and which brings scientific disciplines together to solve issues and advance perennial crop production systems.
For further information please contact Dr Richard Harrison.