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The RFS welcomes blogs from members and experts in their field on all aspects of woodland management, forestry and forestry skills. The author's opinions are their own and may not necessarily be shared by the RFS. If you have a topic you would like to submit as a blog please email:  


Patrick Faulkner H S 

Recognising Deer Damage

November 2018

Patrick Faulkner is a qualified shooting coach and joined the Deer Initiative as a part time Deer Management Advisor. He talks about the increase in deer numbers he has witnessed, how to recognise deer damage and the danger they pose to motorists here 


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Finding our voices in the woodland

October 2018

Georgia Spooner is our Gloucestershire Teaching Trees Officer. In this blog she describes a primary school visit with a speech and language focus which turned out to be one of the highlights of the year for all involved. Read her blog in full here 


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Five Great Autumn activities to try with kids in the forest

October 2018

Becky Wilkinson is our Staffordshire Education and Teacher Training Officer. She delivers both sessions for school groups and training for teachers in using woodlands for outdoor learning. She outlines five great Autumn activities Primary teachers can try in the woods here 


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Mycorrhizas: What is happening below the forest floor?

September 2018

Following reports of nutritional imbalances across Europe’s forest trees, Dr Martin I. Bidartondo, Reader in Molecular Ecology at Imperial College London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, asks What is happening with fungus-roots in our forests?  Ten years of research, he says, have provided some clues. More here



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 Using timber in architecture 

July 2018

In Part Two of his blog, award winning architect, university tutor and TV presenter Piers Taylor discusses how he looks to inspire innovative uses of home grown timber in architecture to bridge a divide between 'thinking’ and ‘making’ in architecture. More here.


Piers Head And Shoulders

Touching the Ground Lightly

June 2018

Award winning architect, university tutor and TV presenter Piers Taylor had felt an outsider in an architectural world where metropolitan arts crowded out the rural. In Part One of a two-part blog he looks at the early influences which eventually led to an about turn in his own teaching and in a desire to inspire innovative uses of home grown timber in architecture. Read more here


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Six things to know about forest soils

June 2018

 Andy Moffat was the author of the first Forestry Commission Soil Guidelines, and has written many other books, papers and articles about forest soils.  He recently helped to assess FC publications for their suitability to underpin the most recent UKFS Soil Guidelines. See his top six things to know about Forest Soils here 



Becky Wilkinson Photo

Five activities to try with kids in a forest

May 2018

When we’re learning in a forest all of our senses are engaged in helping us to build lasting memories. Becky Wilkinson our Teaching Trees Training and Education Officer for Staffordshire suggests you try these five activities with primary school aged children and let us know how you get on! More here 


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What is going on with small woods in the UK?

April 2018

Doug and Claire King-Smith ask how come, as a country, we are failing to bring this resource into active management? And why is it that for some who are trying to actively turn this tide of neglect, the cards can be so overwhelmingly stacked against them? They are involved in a Planing Inquiry after being refused permission for a wood-drying barn and machinery store at Hillyfield Woodland Farm. More here


Adam Sharman Photo

Tree Pests and Diseases - are you ready?

March 2018

Being an island, we are at constant threat from new pests and diseases. Adam Sharman argues that education is important and that looking for changes, supported by your knowledge of your woods will put you in a better position to try manage a threat before it becomes a much more serious affliction. More here.



John Morris Dec 15 By Chris Smith

Woodland archaeology - what's it all about?

February 2018

Historic features help give each wood its unique identity, character and sense of place.John Morris explains how these features can be used to work out which areas are less sensitive, in terms of ground flora and soil structure, to modern forestry operations by showing that they had previously been disturbed, and which areas should be conserved. More here


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Showcasing forestry - why we should be proud of excellence

November 2017

"It’s only through ensuring high quality woodland management and talking about it to a wider world that we will help people distinguish between excellence and exploitation in forestry." Rachel Thomas argues the RFS Excellence in Forestry Award is a great opportunity to showcase to the forestry sector, and to a wider world. More here


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Four changes for Forestry to thrive 

September 2017 

In addressing Principle 4 of the Tree Charter 'A thriving forestry sector that delivers for the UK', RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd argues that for a thriving and economically healthy forestry sector capable of providing more home grown timber and associated jobs, four things must change.

More here



Martin Glynn Crop

If there was one thing you would like to see done to improve the skills of the workforce, what would it be?

September 2017

One of the few things that most people in the forestry sector can hopefully agree on is that we need a skilled workforce if we are to plant and manage our woodlands well.The right tree in the right place’ doesn’t happen by accident.Chartered Forester Martin Glynn invites you to have your say in the Forestry Skill Study which is being led by the RFS on behalf of the Forestry Skills Forum. More here


Marie Ellis Castle Howardblog August 2017

Phytophthora Ramorum: Challenges for the Woodland Owner

August 2017

The challenges of dealing with a potential outbreak of Phytophthora ramorum are great for any woodland owner but for those private estates that depend upon income from forestry operations to uphold the Estate and secure the future management of the woodland, the challenges are perhaps even greater. Maria Ellis discusses the approaches they are taking in woodlands on the Castle Howard estate where there is a high concentration of larch. More here


Julian Evans

 Five tips for getting started in your own woodlands

 August 2017

Tips 1: When buying or starting out with a new wood, don’t look at the trees!

Professor Julian Evans OBE FICFor chairs the Forestry Commission’s Expert Committee on Forest Science. He has owned a 30 acres woodland for more than 30 years and has written several books about his experiences. He is Leading a One day course on Essential Guide to Caring for your Woods in September 2017. More here 


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Feel the Force

April 2017

The Charter for Trees, Woods and People (Tree Charter) 2017, will be launched in November 2017, 800 years after the original Charter of the Forests was signed by King Henry III. Four members of the Tree Charter Student Council who are studying forestry and related subjects tell us what it means to them here.



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Economic Trees

 March 2017

Bob Chard is an RFS member with a long term interest in forestry and rural land use. He works on climate change adaptation issues, including a project to develop Tropical Hardwood Importation Substitute (THIS) trees, in his own woodland creation scheme. Read his blog here.




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Shropshire Agroforestry: Trees, hedgerows and cattle

 February 2017

Farmer Peter Aspin tells us how critical trees are to the welfare of his animals and why agroforestry is at the heart of his business. Read the blog here




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Resilient Trees

November 2016

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd argues that to counter the threat of tree diseases and pests we should plant a much greater variety of tree species.This blog was written for the Tree Charter. Read in full here




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The Best Classroom in the World

April 2016 

Teaching Trees Education Officer Nicki Jempson spells out why woods make the best classroom in the world! This blog was written for the Tree Charter. Read more here