Forestry Research

Introducing a National Research Woodland

Earth Trust is home to extremely diverse collections of living hardwood trees of national significance. We have four main tree collections: Paradise WoodBroad ArboretumNeptune Wood and Little Wittenham Wood.  Our woodlands are a unique forestry genetic resource. The gene bank and the ecosystems of these collections provide forestry research and social science opportunities, to answer questions into resilience, productivity and plant health, as well as a variety of other research enquiries.

Earth Trust is a laboratory for productivity, biodiversity and community engagement, and therefore, research undertaken at the Trust can be transformative in its application to policy questions and challenges.

Little Wittenham Wood is a SSSI and an SAC; Neptune Wood was planted as a Trafalgar Wood in 2005; the Broad Arboretum is a living library of every tree and shrub species native to Oxfordshire; and Paradise Wood is a nationally significant living forestry genetic reserve. The close proximity and diversity of these tree collections, the climatic conditions they share, their origins, genetic variation and the attendant metadata held about these tree collections, present an important opportunity for scientific and social research.

What we are doing

Earth Trust’s forestry assets provide a nationally significant resource for a range of research questions. Whilst, as an organisation we do not conduct research, our forestry assets can be accessed by academic institutions and individuals to support their research.

Earth Trust in the process of digitising all the data and meta data relating to our forestry assets to a central database, in order to bring the benefit of our woodlands to as wide an audience as possible.

Data and meta data relating to the trees, such as the genotype, provenance of the seed, date of planting, climatic conditions, cultivation and management plans etc., will all be available to researchers answering a wide range of research questions.


The impact of Earth Trust’s woodlands and the research which they have and will enable is huge. Our trees have already helped to answer major questions into tree health resilience during the Living Ash Project, and their potential to do so again is limitless.

How you can support us

You can help Earth Trust nurture our woodland collections by making a one off donation or becoming an Earth Trust Friend. Your donation and Friendship will have a fantastic impact, enabling Earth Trust to facilitate ground-breaking research as well as providing public access to beautiful woodlands.

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