Monthly Archives: October 2016

New biomass guide

The Forestry Commission has a new guide to the use of biomass for heating.  It begins:

“There are many ways in which community groups can get involved in developing a local woodfuel supply chain.  These pages will guide you through the stages of the supply chain, helping you understand the time, resources, skills and costs involved.  The woodfuel sector is growing in response to positive policy and financial support for the use of wood-fuelled heating systems and bringing woodlands back into sustainable management.

The FC says that sustainable woodfuel supply chains offer a wide range of social, economic and environmental opportunities and benefits including:

  • supporting the local economy
  • improving access to woodland for leisure
  • bringing together local communities
  • creating new skills and jobs
  • enabling carbon savings
  • promoting increased woodland biodiversity
  • supporting climate change mitigation through woodland management.

The Guide has 7 sections:

Posted in: Latest News, Woodland Management | Tagged |

More on those 64 million trees

The Woodland Trust pages on the Guardian the other day mentioned the need for 64 million more trees in the UK.

That’s one for each of us.  The idea being that whilst 64 million’s a big number, one each isn’t.

Its goals for the year 2025 are:

  • Working with schools, communities and partners will see 15 million trees planted in towns and cities: creating attractive parks and green spaces, improving air quality, boosting health and wellbeing, and creating places where people want to live and work
  • Working with farmers, landowners, local authorities, communities and supporters will see 20 million new trees across the countryside, replacing the many that will be lost to tree disease
  • Working with major landowners, government and businesses and tapping into new funding streams will see 29 million trees, creating major new areas of beautiful and wildlife-friendly countryside

And 15 + 20 + 29 = 64.  This is a worthy goal.


Posted in: Latest News |

More on Forest Live

Here are the tour dates for the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live for 2017.   The nearest venus to the Forest of Avon is Westonbirt Arboretum.

Maybe we shall see you there!

Westonbirt Arboretum, Glos

Thursday 15 June
Friday 16 June
Saturday 17 June
Sunday 18 June

Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent

Friday 16 June
Saturday 17 June

Sherwood Pines

Friday 23 June
Saturday 24 June
Sunday 25 June

Dalby Forest, North Yorks
Friday 23 June
Saturday 24 June
Sunday 25 June

Delamere Forest, Cheshire

Friday 30 June
Saturday 1 July
Sunday 2 July

Thetford Forest, Suffolk

Thursday 29 June
Friday 30 June
Saturday 1 July
Sunday 2 July

Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire

Friday 7 July
Saturday 8 July
Sunday 9 July

Posted in: Latest News |

Toxic forest fire ‘haze’ may have killed 100,000 people a year

Smoke from forest fires in Indonesia killed more than 100,000 people last year, according to research into the impact of what is now an annual event.  A paper from Harvard and Columbia universities estimates that an average of 100,300 people may have died prematurely last year in the three countries most affected by the smoke.

The study suggests that 2,200 deaths in Singapore, 6,500 in Malaysia and 91,600 in Indonesia can be attributed to the smoke.

In Indonesia, the fires burn every dry season across forests and peat areas.  In the past few weeks satellite photographs have again revealed areas all over Indonesia where there is burning.  Many of these are caused by companies illegally clearing forest to grow crops such as oil palm.  Scientists suggest that forest fires in Indonesia released more greenhouse gases in 2015 than the US economy.

The Guardian has more detail on this problem.

Posted in: Latest News |

A great green wall

International charity, WeForest, is dedicated to bio-diverse tree planting, and is sponsored by Brabantia, a rotary drier manufacturer.  WeForest is celebrating the planting of its 10 millionth tree and the start of a new part of the green wall in East-Gojjam, Ethiopia.

Great Green WallThis remote area is hot and dry for nine months of the year, but gets over 1500mm of rain in the other three months. So trees prevent the loss of fertile topsoil.

WeForest is also planting fruit and timber trees on farms to boost sustainable development.  There are also initiatives such as honey production and fuel-efficient cooking stoves.

There is more detail here

Posted in: Latest News |

Quarterly news from the Trust

Here is the latest news from the Forest of Avon Trust.  The picture on the left shows OVO Energy volunteers taking a well-earned break at The Retreat.

The Forest of Avon Trust was established to pick up the baton of the Forest of Avon Community Forest which achieved so much in this area to 2009.  As a consequence, it is really pleasing to now have the funding to work with Friends Groups, (which in many cases were established with the support of the Forest of Avon Partnership) to provide skills training to help them manage local woodlands.  Sincere thanks to the OVO Foundation for this.

It is also really pleasing to have just been able to appoint long- standing charity Associate: Nicola Ramsden as Health & Wellbeing Officer to further develop an area of work which has always been core to our values.  A summary of our most recent work is here:

  • Running successful Forest School Level 1, Level 3 and Outdoor First Aid courses as part of our 2016 training programme. Since 2011, the charity has professionally trained 132 Forest School Leaders and provided accredited training to 363 people, making quite a contribution to outdoor learning in Bristol and beyond;
  • Delivering the Dementia Well-being pilot project in partnership with Bristol Dementia Partnership. This evaluated project is offering woodland activities to people with dementia and their partners/ carers; we hope that this will lead to similar projects within the area: part of a suite of activities delivered by the charity, making a real difference to people’s lives;
  • Linked to the above, securing a grant from the Quartet Community Foundation to run activities for adults with learning disabilities in South Gloucestershire;
  • Delivering the Woodland Skills project supported by a grant from the OVO Foundation, with 10 training days for Friends Groups currently planned;
  • Linked to the above, running volunteering activities to improve local woodlands; so far, 43 OVO Energy volunteers  have been involved in maintaining The Retreat and two of Bristol City Council’s 1 Tree per Child planting sites;
  • Producing two Forestry Commission Woodland Management Plans for owners in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and securing agreement for four more; 850ha woodland in the area is now making an improved contribution to biodiversity, landscape, recreation, pollution management, mitigation of climate change and more. If you know anyone with a 3ha+ woodland please email:
  • Producing two Forestry Commission small woodland management plans, funded by a grant from Pukka Herbs;
  • Running our fifth Allotment Orchard project with Bristol City Council, providing discounted fruit trees and bushes to allotment holders; (the scheme is also open to others, so please apply, closing date: 21st October); and
  • Continuing to grow our presence on Twitter (2,719 Followers) and Facebook (1,441 reached in September), extending knowledge of our growing range of activities and services.
Posted in: Forest of Avon, Latest News |

More trees for schools from the Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust has thousands more trees to give to schools across the country.

The details are here.


Posted in: Latest News |

Get our Latest Charity News

Find out about about our latest range of projects and activities here.

Posted in: Latest News, Our Projects |

Forest of Avon Plan

The Forest of Avon Plan is now available to download from the Forest of Avon Trust’s website, along with Planning Guidance for the Forest, adopted by the four West of England authorities in 2005.

Subject to extensive consultation across sectors, the Forest Plan sets out an agreed vision and strategy for the Community Forest across 221 square miles in and around Bristol. The Forest area was increased in 2005 to cover the whole of the West of England (Avon) outside the AONBs.

The Forest Plan still has considerable currency, so please have a look at the web page and email: for more information, project or funding ideas.

Posted in: Forest of Avon, Latest News | Tagged |

The wood’s in trouble today

Today is national poetry day, and to mark this here is Housman’s On Wedlock Edge.

This poem has numerous references to woods, trees, forests, and the like, but it is not really about any of them.  This is what the National Trust has to say about the Edge.  There is no reference to the poem.

On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble;

His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;

The gale, it plies the saplings double,

And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

‘Twould blow like this through holt and hanger

When Uricon the city stood:

‘Tis the old wind in the old anger,

But then it threshed another wood.

Then, ’twas before my time, the Roman

At yonder heaving hill would stare:

The blood that warms an English yeoman,

The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

There, like the wind through woods in riot,

Through him the gale of life blew high;

The tree of man was never quiet:
Then ’twas the Roman, now ’tis I.

The gale, it plies the saplings double,

It blows so hard, ’twill soon be gone:

To-day the Roman and his trouble

Are ashes under Uricon.

Posted in: Latest News |