Forestry / woodlands

It is hard to envisage any system of sustainable land management that does not involve extensive use of trees.

At a landscape scale, trees provide vital habitats for wildlife, timber for construction and fuel, aid soil and water management, and have high aesthetic and recreational value.

"Trees are central to ecosystems, not just because they are large, but rather because they affect the larger climate. Water flows differently due to trees. The wind is blocked, deflected, slowed or funneled depending on how trees are arranged. Light can be blocked, or its heat can be concentrated into specific areas. Soil is built, enriched and sheltered by trees. Animals, insects and other life forms all rely on trees to thrive. They are the go-between for the energy entering, absorbed, and dispersed within natural systems."

Geoff Lawton

Bluebells 7, by catimages on Flickr, shared under CC BY 2.0

In this category...


Here, trees are included in cultivation systems.  Silvopastoral systems integrate trees and livestock.   Silvoarable systems are where crops are grown with trees.   


Potential benefits include:

Analogue forestry

Analogue forestry is similar to forest gardening but is done on a grander scale, with more concern for local ecology and less for food production, and is generally employed in tropical or sub-tropical areas areas.

Continuous cover forestry

“Continuous cover forestry involves the maintenance of a forest canopy during the regeneration phase with a consequent presumption against clearfelling in favour of alternative silvicultural systems.

Nature based forestry

Declining health and lack of stability in 'age-class' forests have led to an increasing interest in the dynamics and structures of more 'nature orientated' forests.

Related resources...

Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People
JOURNAL ARTICLE: How community gardens may contribute to community resilience following an earthquake - Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
JOURNAL ARTICLE: The legacy of 4,500 years of polyculture agroforestry in the eastern Amazon - Nature Journal
REPORT : Global guidelines for the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes in drylands Global guidelines for the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes in drylands
What is Forest Management ? Forestry Chapter from Farmers' Handbook
Regrarians Handbook
Guide to Building Forest Access Roads
Farmers' Handbook
Alley coppice—a new system with ancient roots
Tall Trees and Small Woods: How to Grow and Tend Them
Woodlands – A Practical Handbook
The Woodland Year
Grazing Ecology and Forest History
Future Forests Network
Global Database on Sustainable Land Management - WOCAT
Forest Research (
Soilscapes by Landis - Soil Map for England & Wales
UK Forestry Commission Facts and Figures Website
USDA Non-Timber Forest Products website
My French Forest
Coppice Agroforestry - Perennial Silviculture for the 21st Century
Small Woods UK
David Holmgren reviews Tree Crops by J. Russell Smith
Facing Fire: Building Resiliency to Wildfire
Ben Law: Resource-first design and our UK woodland resource
Forest Keep Drylands Working - Short Film by John D. Liu
Llais y Goedwig
Forestry Commission UK
Abbotts Living Wood Centre
Farm Woodland Forum - Farming With Trees
The Woodland Trust