Landscape PLANNING: Definitions Planning Agriculture Context theory Cycling EID Forestry Green Towns Greenways Landscape plans Minerals Parks POS Reservoirs Rivers Sustainability Transport Urbanisation Books on landscape planning Links
The landscape of forestry
With this, again, comes forestry: no mere tree-cropping, but silviculture, arboriculture too, and park-making at its greatest and best. Patrick Geddes (Geddes 1915: 95).
Woods and forests can be the most wonderful places: beautiful and productive, with sparkling streams, bright pools, dark swamps, open glades, black groves, broad moors and high mountains. They can have fresh seedlings, thrusting saplings, mature trees, ancient trees and rotting trees with fascinating fungi. Animal life should be a great part of the forest: insects, fish, birds, mice, squirrels, badgers, foxes and deer. They need a wide range of habitats with great plant diversity. Forestry should be conceived as a multi-objective cultural endeavour: no mere tree cropping, timber farming or biomass production. Science helps foresters but scientific forestry is something of a contradiction: if a wood is managed on single-objective scientific principles, it will cease being a forest. In human terms, it is like treating women as reproductive systems.The obstacles which lie in the path of good forestry are as follows:
Iit is easy to find out when and where forests are well-run. An American forester explains the method: "You don't have to be a professional forester to recognise bad forestry any more than you need to be a doctor to recognise ill-health. If logging looks bad, it is bad. If a forest appears to be mismanaged, it is mismanaged. But a certain level of expertise is needed if you are going to be effective in doing something about it (Robinson 1988: ix)" . By this criterion Britain's state-run forests are mismanaged.
(a) Six uses in one compartment
(b) Six uses in six non-overlapping compartments
(c) Six uses in overlapping compartments
(d) Six uses overlapping with each other with other uses outside the forest.
Criticism of plantation forestry Plantations have been hated for centuries.
Sympathetic design Forest design requires forest designers.
The new conifer landscape New tree species lead to new styles.
The broadleaf policy Broadleaf species have been rooted out.
Forest parks Forest parks are duller than they need be.
Conservation and recreation Forest recreation can be profitable.
Private forestry Private forestry is both better and worse than state forestry.
Silviculture Selection forestry is best for the environment.
Community forestry Land, money and laws are necessary.
Forest landscape plans Forests need multi-objective landscape plans.
The chief success of British Forestry, apart from wood production, has been the visual integration of forestry with other land uses. The chief weakness of British Forestry has been the internal management of plantations for multiple objectives. Citics of plantation forestry should re-focus their attention on the internal management of forests. When they look badly managed, they are badly managed. To improve matters, comprehensive landscape plans of the type recommended by Dame Sylvia Crowe, in 1978, should be prepared for each and every forest:
Forest Biomas See note from L-Arch on measuring forest biomass.
Article on forest landscape design
Countryside Commission, 1987. Forestry in the countryside.
Crowe, S. 1978. The landscape of forests and woods. [Forestry Commission Booklet No. 44]. London:HMSO.
Harrison, R.P. 1992. Forests, the shadow of civilization. Chicago:University of Chicago Press.
Helliwell, D.R. 1982. Options in forestry. Chichester:Packard Publishing.
Lucas, O. 1984. The Forestry Commission. Landscape Design No. 150 August 1984 p. 10.
Robinson, G. 1988. The forest and the trees. Washington DC:Island Press.
Turner, T, Landscape planning and environmental impact design. London:UCL Press 1998 Chapter 8