Woodland Collections Project
Unlocking the secrets of our important tree and forestry collections
This month we are proud to announce the start of our new Woodland Collections project. Earth Trust holds a very special and diverse collection of trees, which individually and collectively provide a unique resource for the study of resilience, timber productivity, plant health and, of course, climate change.
The diversity of these tree collections in one location, their origins, genetic variation and their metadata, presents an exciting and important opportunity for future scientific and social research. These trees could hold the secret to many of our future research questions – as evidenced by the Earth Trust led Living Ash Project which aimed to identify trees with resilience to ash dieback disease.
The first phase of the Woodland Collections project will explore and understand the totality of the forestry assets and data held by Earth Trust and their value for science and society. Paradise Wood is a nationally significant living genetic reserve; Little Wittenham Wood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC); Neptune Wood was planted as a Trafalgar Wood in 2005; and the Broad Arboretum is a living library of every tree and shrub species native to Oxfordshire.
We are delighted to welcome Roberto De Vivo, our new Woodland Collections Data Intern, who is playing a pivotal role by helping to identify and quantify Earth Trust’s forestry resources, as we develop a long-term management and accessibility data strategy. This internship represents a unique opportunity to work in this interesting field and make a significant contribution to a project which will transform the management of forestry data and resources: viewing them as living genetic libraries.
We are working in close partnership with leading members of the forestry community, including an expert team from NIAB EMR (East Malling Research) led by Dr Richard Harrison, Dr Helen Cockerton and Dr Amanda Karlstrom, Sylva Foundation and University of Oxford Department of Plant Sciences.
The project is supported by Defra.