Plumpton College in East Sussex has become the first to launch Conifers for Colleges in the South of England.
Conifers for Colleges is our flagship education and research programme, bringing colleges and students together with specialist forest nurseries and leading forestry suppliers.
Students from Plumpton College planted the trees at The Woodland Enterprise Centre at Flimwell in the High Weald. This site is run by Plumpton College for specialist woodland training and events. The project will be used to carry out research into the growth responses of the trees planted as mixed species plantings verses single group species plantings. In addition a comparison will be made in to the survival and growth rates of the trees protected using different forms of tree protection.
Jon Cornford course leader for Foundation Degree Forestry says: “This is a great opportunity for students to take part in research, and we would like to thank the RFS and all of the sponsors for their interest in promoting research for future forestry students”.
The project recognises the risks that climate change, pests and diseases represent to woodlands, and the need for a wider range of tree species and a greater supply of skills. It highlights the importance of conifers to the UK forestry and timber industries while promoting research and education into alternative novel species.
Conifers for Colleges was launched nationally on 5 November at Moulton College in Northamptonshire. Director of FC England, Ian Gambles praised the project for playing an important part in the forestry sector’s drive for resilience. Full details and his talk and support for the project are available here.
Two other colleges have also launched Conifers for Colleges this year: Myerscough College, near Preston, and Northumberland College with Coleg Gwent in Usk launching on 12 December.
Each college will receive 400 coniferous trees and 100 additional broadleaf trees donated by project. Research data from their planting plots will be widely available to woodland owners and managers over the coming years via the free-to-use database SilviFuture.
The project has been made possible thanks to sponsors Alba Trees in East Lothian, Cheviot Trees Ltd of Berwick on Tweed, and Prees Heath Nurseries of Whitchurch, Shropshire and 500 tree guards to protect trees from damage donated by Tubex.