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Conifers for Colleges was launched on the 05th November 2015 at Moulton College in Northamptonshire. Moulton College is located in the Midlands Division of the Royal Foretry Society and has a long history of providing courses in woodland management, forestry, arboriculture and countryside management, making it the ideal site for the launch of Conifers for Colleges.Molton Logo

Conifers for Colleges recognises the risks that climate change, pests and diseases represent to woodlands, as well as the need for a wider range of tree species and a greater supply of skills to ensure that the UK nurtures resilient and productive woodlands for future generations. This is why the launch of the project recieved praise from all across the forestry sector.

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Launching Conifers for Colleges at Moulton College: From left, RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker,  RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd, Moulton College Principal Stephen Davies and Director of FC England Ian Gambles

Speaking at the launch, Director of FC England Ian Gambles described Conifers for Colleges as playing an important part in the forestry sector's response to the challenge of resilience.

Launching the project, RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker says: "It’s time to recognise that conifer plantations are the engine-house of the UK forestry industry which employs 40,000 people and generates some £8bn of GDP - 90% of that can be attributed to conifers. Yet we still import 80% of our timber needs, and we are still felling conifers without replacing them.

"With the generous support of our sponsors, Conifers for College will raise the low awareness of this important resource, and opportunity, which should be contributing far more to our national economy.

"We need new species too. Our present ones, principally Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Larch and Scots/Corsican Pine are vulnerable – already larch and the pines are in serious trouble from disease. So we must learn and experiment with new ones, and this exciting project brings together nurseries, colleges and students in finding a safer future for our industry."

Ian  Gambles added: “We must make our forests more resilient to the pest and disease threats we face now and the future challenge of climate change.

" For decades we limited our choices to just a few species, leaving our forests and timber supplies vulnerable. “Conifers for Colleges” is one important part of the sector’s response to the challenge of resilience, and I warmly welcome the initiative. This is a time of change where foresters and nurseries, including on our own public forest estate, are specifying a greater range of species and provenances for their stock. Drjameslittlemorephiltannerhestudnets Cfofclaunch Crfs 061114 Pt

“Diversification is the future and education is the key as we learn how to grow these trees in greater numbers to a high standard to secure a supply of homegrown timber.”

Moulton College Principal Stephen Davies says: “Moulton College is delighted to be part of the Conifers for Colleges programme. This demonstrates our commitment to working closely with the forestry industry, providing opportunities for students who will become future foresters and woodland managers, so initiatives like this mean they can gain valuable hands-on work experience, whilst contributing to our woodland heritage for future generations.”

For details of the tree species planted or a map of the planting site please download the files in the right hand column.

 

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