London Woodlands Evidence Base - Full report now available
London's woodlands provide a range of environmental, social and economic benefits. To ensure these are fully realised they should be sustainably managed to create diverse habitats, improve public access, generate woodland products and contribute to alleviating some of the more extreme impacts of climate change such as flooding and air pollution.
Using both nationally available data on woodland cover and type, together with on the ground intelligence from London's borough tree officers and other significant landowners, this report presents a unique snapshot of the current state of London's woodlands from the perspective of those responsible for their stewardship.
According to figures from the National Forest Inventory, London has around 12,899 hectares of woodland but Forestry Commission figures indicate that only 25% of this total is managed.
Ownership, management and condition of London's woodlands is not well understood. This project sought to reveal more about the ownership, management and challenges facing woodlands in the capital today and to make recommendations for how these challenges can be overcome.
This comprehensive report reveals, amongst other things, a picture of resource stretched local authorities struggling with short term political priorities and trying to manage resources that require long term vision and investment if the full range of benefits are to be delivered from their woodland sites. Some woodlands are classified as critically threatened whilst others are only managed to avoid health and safety risks. Woodlands are threatened by an increase in the range of pests and diseases, misuse by the public and the ever present threat of development.
However, many solutions emerged from this work including the potential for more community support to help manage local woodlands, the need for champions to publicise the great benefits from London's urban forest and the possibilities of developing new and innovative markets for products that could come from well managed woodland sites and could offset the cost of their long term care.
The full report is available as a downloadable PDF. More information can also be found on the Forestry Commissions website www.forestry.gov.uk/london-practice
Lantern continues to work to improve the understanding of and support for London's urban forest and we will be developing more solutions to the issues raised within this report in the future.
If you would like to talk to us about how you can get involved please contact us on 07815 832 243 or email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the summary report here.