Tree cover now at its highest for 250 years

It was good to see in the Sunday Times, that Britain’s woodland now covers 11,200 square miles or 11.8% of the total land area, the most for 250 years. This compares to just 5% at the end of the first world war. This is still small in comparison to somewhere like Finland  with 72% of the land area covered – Maria from Mostly Walking blog – thinks there are too many trees in Finland !

A lot of the planting in the UK has been recent.  I love trees and whilst this post is not about walking as such, it is great to read such articles.  The sheer majesty of our native trees in the landscape is a joy to me, I love them as much as I love the hills and mountains that I walk through.

I am very fortunate to have just over three acres ( 1.4 hectares) of land, which we purchased a number of years ago next to our house. Over the years, Mary and I have planted around 200 native trees and a hedgerow containing 700. These with the 1/2 acre mini wood that came with the land, is our contribution.  They are starting to pay their way the little sticks that we planted, some over twenty – thirty feet tall and with free wood for our wood burning stove, as we selectively coppice them. Over the years, our boys have camped many times in our wood- my youngest son, practices his bushcraft  there – a trainee Ray Mears 🙂

The shelter belt we planted in the early years

Our wood during the winter time

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6 Responses to Tree cover now at its highest for 250 years

  1. Mark Roberts says:

    It would be nice to see a return to the practise of coppicing, also. With great trees comes great responsibility…

    There are quite a lot of trees in Finland, especially in the south. Combined with the flatness of the land, it makes the journey up north somewhat uninteresting. Once you get up to Lapland the landscape opens up a lot, but there’s a lot to be said for a good walk in a pine forest.

  2. Mark – the practice of coppicing for 1000 years in Britain has created the classic broad leaved woodland we see here. This disappeared after the Second World War mainly because of labour costs. It is now being re-introduced, creating a rich eco-system once again.

    I would like to spend some time in Scandinavia, hiking – I am sure it is true wilderness.

  3. Greg says:

    I love birch trees and have named our little estate Birch Garth.
    It must be great to grow your own wood. Only problem is the length of time things like oak trees take to grow.

  4. Yes- it is great to have a little wood. We mainly coppice willow and birch, they grow very fast and if you dry out the willow for 12 months or more it burns really well in the wood stove despite the initial high water content. Unless there is a medical break through, I don’t think I will see the oaks to maturity 🙂

  5. -maria- says:

    Maybe it’s just that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence 😀

    But seriously, I adore open landscapes, that’s where the joy and happiness fill me – I like to see far. Like Mark R. said a pine forest can be quite enjoyable, but the thick forests where you need a machete (hmm, I may exaggerate a bit…) to make a step forward are not for me.

    There are ecological reasons to like trees (and in Finland also economical!) but otherwise I find the bushy kind of forests quite uninteresting. Too much is too much.

    By the way, to double the woodland is impressive, if only that could be done in areas where desertification is a real problem…

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