Archive for 2016

How do you feel about pests and diseases? | 06th Dec, 2016

Dr Julie Urquart from Imperial College is running a project about ash dieback.

Read more …

Ride Improvement Scheme – Update | 05th Dec, 2016

The track improvement pilot scheme in the South East is now nearing its end.  It was an initiative instigated by to help owners with shared tracks maintain and improve the utility, structure  and biodiversity of their tracks and rides.  Read more …

December 2016 Newsletter | 01st Dec, 2016

dec2106December has swept in on an icy draught, and with it a SWOG newsletter to warm the cockles.

Don’t miss the chance to win a place on a coppice course – enter the SWOG Big Picture competition. Send us your selfies and photographs of people enjoying the woods.

There are plenty of festive downloads – useful freebies for tree-lovers, including a chainsaw maintenance guide from Makita.

Season’s Greetings from the SWOG team!

Say trees – SWOG’s big picture competition | 01st Dec, 2016

cleared-at-last  gregory  building-eeyores-house Read more …

National Tree Week | 28th Nov, 2016


The 41st National Tree Week begins on 26 November, and kicks off with a series of events to bring trees to the forefront of public consciousness. This year the Tree Council are encouraging us all to get involved with Tree Dressing Day on Saturday 3 December, and in support, the Woodland Trust and Forest Charter team have released a free tree dressing pack.

The Tree Council has also published the press release from the very first tree week in 1975. It is interesting to see both sides of the political establishment becoming involved, with the Prime Minister Harold Wilson planting a young holme oak at Chequers. Not to be outdone, Leader of the Opposition Margaret Thatcher characteristically helped to plant a mighty 30-ft lime tree in Lisson Grove.


Source: Getty Images

History does not recall the fate of either tree, but let’s hope they’re both flourishing.

New Forest Land Advice Service Working Woodlands Project | 03rd Nov, 2016

Tom Murphy has been in touch, he is the  project co-ordinator for the Working Woodlands Project which is run by the New Forest Land Advice Service  part of the bigger, forest-wide “Our Past Our Future” initiative.

Read more …

November 2016 Newsletter | 31st Oct, 2016

nov-2016coverloInside a packed November newsletter, there are

  • butterflies
  • dormice
  • tree tales
  • words of advice for new owners
  • links a free tree ID app.

We hope you enjoy it!

Grown in Britain Week Special Offer | 11th Oct, 2016

giblogo-locopyThere is a 10% discount to anyone placing a booking on a Grown in Britain training course this week. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

The aim of the course is to provide potential applicants and/or auditors of the Grown in Britain Standard with an introduction to the Standard, its general requirements and the different categories of the Licence and how these should be complied with.

The course is designed for owners and managers of woodlands to find out how the Grown in Britain Standard can help complement existing management strategies, and is also designed for those in the timber and timber products supply chain to learn how Grown in Britain can help to support the marketing of compliant products.  We also introduce the new woodfuel standard and how obtaining a Grown in Britain Woodfuel Licence can help you to stay compliant with RHI and Biomass Suppliers List requirements.

Courses are delivered by RDI Associates in partnership with Grown in Britain.  RDI Associates is a registered training provider and courses are taken by qualified and experienced instructors.

The following dates and locations are now confirmed:

Friday 21 October 2016 Forestry Commission Offices, Alice Holt, Surrey
Friday 11 November 2016 Cumbria Local Enterprise Centre, Redhills, Penrith
Tuesday 15 November 2016 Woodland Trust Offices, Grantham, Lincolnshire

Each course costs £210.00 per person (exc VAT) which includes the course handbook and catering and refreshments for the day. Don’t forget your 10% discount if you place your booking this week!

You can book a place by either:

If you have any questions or queries on the content of the course, please contact the instructor, Will Richardson, by e-mailing him at [email protected] or calling him on 07957 184978.

October 2016 Newsletter | 30th Sep, 2016

oct-coverSquirrels, birds and the State of Nature 2016 – it’s all in the October SWOG newsletter, along with a report from the APF show,  forthcoming autumnal events and our usual list of fascinating blogs and links to woodland news.

Oak Processionary Moth – research | 30th Sep, 2016

thaumetopoea-processioneaWe have been contacted by Dr. John Fellenor who is part of a project team looking at the public perception of risk with regard to specific tree pests and pathogens, one of which is the oak processionary moth (OPM).

Their project webpage provides an overview of what the work aims to achieve

Read more …

September 2016 Newsletter | 02nd Sep, 2016

SeptSeptember has arrived and we’re in the middle of the woodfair season. The SWOG newsletter includes:

  • Discounted entry details for APF and Bentley
  • Welcome news that forestry grants will be honoured
  • The value of using local timber over imported products
  • Events, courses and surveys – join in !

Reasons to adapt to Climate Change | 24th Aug, 2016

The river Thames flooding at Wallingford, Oxfordshire due to exception rainfall. June 2003.

The river Thames flooding at Wallingford, Oxfordshire due to exception rainfall. June 2003.

Dr Suzanne Martin,  Research Liaison Officer with the Forestry Commission at Alice Holt has written to us with news of the recently published LWEC Report Card covering forestry.  The card provides an accessible and authoritative summary of the latest scientific evidence about the impact and future risks/opportunities of climate change for forestry in the UK.  It is aimed at anyone who works with, or has an interest in, agriculture, horticulture & forestry. It aims to improve understanding of the scale of possible change and to help inform land management decisions that will help us to better cope with climate change.

Reasons to adapt to climate change

What does the latest scientific evidence tell us about the climate change impacts for forestry?
In July an Agriculture & Forestry Climate Change Impacts Report Card was published by the Living with Environmental Change Partnership (LWEC). It is the latest summary of the scientific evidence of how climate change is affecting agriculture and forestry in the UK. It also explains how climate change might affect these land uses in the UK in the future.
The Report Card is based on the findings from nine detailed peer-reviewed papers prepared by leading experts, including those in Forest Research (who also acted as the lead author for the forestry sector).
The Report Card highlights:
• New and emerging pests and diseases as particular risks.
• In the next 20-30 years timber yield potential is likely to increase in the cooler, wetter uplands and the north and west of the UK but in drier areas, on lighter soils or for species that are sensitive to drought, there will be reduced growth.
• In the longer term reduced water availability and more frequent extreme weather events are likely to reduce both growth and yield potential in many areas.
• Biodiversity in semi-natural and managed woodlands is expected to adjust as a result of a changing climate.
• The range and quality of the other ecosystem services that forestry provides and relies on will also change. These include climate control, flood regulation, pollination and nutrient cycling.
What does this mean?
It highlights the importance of actively managing woodlands to help them cope with our changing climate, for example by improving forest structure, diversifying tree species, and increasing their ability to cope with greater weather variability and extreme events such as drought, wildfire and wind storms.

August 2016 Newsletter | 01st Aug, 2016

Aug 2016LOWith the arrival of the lazy days of summer comes the August Newsletter.

Read about

  • The benefits of using horse to extract timber from woodlands
  • The Big Butterfly Count
  • What to look for in a cross-cut saw
  • SWOG meeting in Shropshire
  • RFS Courses for woodland owners
  • Discounted entry to the APF Show and the Bentley Woodfair

July 2016 Newsletter | 01st Jul, 2016


Enjoy the summer with the July newsletter.

  • Sign up for the SWOG meeting in Shropshire
  • Small woodland owners have a vital role as custodian of the nation’s woodland heritage. The Sylva Foundation wants to capture the hopes and fears of woodland owners for the future to incorporate them into the Charter for Trees, Woods and People 2017 – make sure you have your say!
  • Get free Grown in Britain recognition for your wood.
  • See the results of the RFS Excellence in Woodlands awards.

Permaculture wood fuel and home heating workshop | 21st Jun, 2016


The Brighton Permaculture Trust is putting on a one day wood fuel and home heatingworkshop. Suitable for beginners, it will cover the basics of wood fuel home heating. The course will include the possible benefits of fuel autonomy, carbon, local economies, and sustainability. These topics are woven into the fabric of the course in such a way as to connect the theory with the practicality.

The term wood fuel now encompasses several technologies; traditional split logs, woodchip and wood pellet. Each of these systems will be discussed during the course with focus put on those of most interest to the group. There will be plenty of time to ask questions during the sessions and at the end where an Ask Andy session is programmed.

By the end of the course participants will have gained an understanding of:

  • Woodlands and firewood production, buying firewood and conversion
  • Woodsheds and storage, moisture content and drying, and continuous supply management
  • Types of stove and technologies
  • Pellet and chip systems and hot water systems
  • Integration with other renewables
  • ….and more

For more information and to book a place visit their website.


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