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RFS launches Coast Redwoods film for Grown in Britain week
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Camera… Lights… Action… the RFS is backing Grown in Britainweek with the launch of a short film on our spectacular Coast Redwoods, which are believed to be the oldest and largest stand in Europe. Coast Redwoods are among the alternative tree species being considered by foresters looking for resilience to tree pests and disease.

RFS Leighton Coast Redwoods - a starring role

Our oldest Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) at Leighton in mid Wales were planted in 1857. In their native California these trees can live over 2000 years, so the RFS grove is young by comparison, but already many individual trees exceed 40 metres in height and 20 cubic metres in volume. View the short film here.

People come from far and wide to see the RFS specimens. Honorary Warden David Williams, past Chairman of our North Wales Division Trevor Trevor and contractor William Jones explain why at RFS Coast Redwoods.

The site was originally part of the Leighton Estate, where the innovative John Naylor established a wide range of plants and animals, many new to Britain. They included the 1857 planting of 32 Coast Redwoods, now known as The Old Grove. The renowned forester Charles Ackers purchased the estate in 1931 and planted more Coast Redwoods. In 1957 he donated the 12 hectare site to the RFS.

Dougal Driver, for Grown in Britain Steering Group, said: “Grown in Britain is all about successful forests for the future. Forestry must be able to adapt and thrive despite the challenges and threats ahead, and that means looking again at species we might not previously have considered for a commercial return.

“The Leighton Coast Redwoods represent a unique knowledge bank of more than 150 years of experience with this species, and could prove an invaluable educational and research resource.”

RFS Management Chair Ian Dudley, who is attending the official launch of Grown in Britain at the House of Lords on Tuesday 15 October, says: “Grown in Britain is an opportunity to throw the spotlight on some of the excellent resources and skills that exist in this country, and to consider how we can work better together to grow a stronger forest industry which supports jobs and businesses while also enhancing the environment, the landscape and social wellbeing.

“It is an opportunity to encourage inward investment by corporates in the wood supply chain. Many of the events that are planned around the week will have a long lasting impact. Our 2014 conference Building in Wood next year will take the theme further.”

To find out more about Grown in Britain go to our Grown in Britain page or find out more about the RFS and our woods.