The survey is part of the Future Oak research project, led by Bangor University, which is investigating the health of oak trees in the UK. Our native oak species are increasingly under-pressure from a variety of pests, pathogens, and changes to the landscape and climate. The project focuses particularly on Acute Oak Decline (AOD) and will explore the role of micro-organisms in this disease.
Understanding forest manager perspectives is critical to the design and deployment of any solution to tree health problems.
Dr Norman Dandy, the project’s lead social scientist from Bangor University explained:
“This survey is part of a substantial effort within Future Oak to understand the social, cultural and management dimensions of oak health, which also includes interview work and workshops. Without the input of forest managers we will miss expertise and experience that is critical to understanding how we can protect our iconic oak species into the future.”
The survey is hosted by Sylva Foundation and run as part of the well-respected and long-running British Woodlands Survey (BWS) series. Over the past decade, the BWS series has generated many thousands of responses from forest managers on subjects ranging from the attractiveness of forestry grants, to the resilience of the UK’s woodlands.
The research team believe that without careful study, we will be ill-equipped to meet the challenges our forests face over the next century. Only by understanding both the ecological science of tree response to pests, pathogens, and climate change, along with the current management knowledge base and practices, can we hope to counter these threats and build the resilience our woodlands require.
Forest Managers across the UK can take part in this important survey by visiting: www.sylva.org.uk/bws.