Earth Trust holds a very special and important set of tree collections. The Woodland Collections project is transformational in the identification of forestry resources: viewing them as living genetic libraries rather than sets of standing trees. The first phase of the project will scope out the assets and data held by Earth Trust and their value for science and society.
What we are doing
Unlocking the secrets of our important tree and forestry collections.
Earth Trust holds a very special and important set of tree collections, which individually and collectively provide a unique resource for the study of resilience, timber productivity, plant health and of course climate change.
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; the Broad Arboretum is a living library of every tree and shrub species native to Oxfordshire.
We have recently recruited an intern, Roberto DeVivo, who is playing a pivotal role in the project helping to identify and quantify Earth Trust’s forestry resources, as we develop a long-term management and accessibility 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) lead by Dr Richard Harrison, Dr Helen Cockerton and Dr Amanda Karlstrom, Sylva Foundation and University of Oxford Department of Plant Sciences.
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 lead Living Ash Project which aimed to identify trees with resilience to Ash Dieback disease.