Woodland Collections Project

Research for the management and accessibility of forest and woodland collections

April 2019 saw the launch of our new Woodlands Collection project. Earth Trust holds a very special and important set of tree collections. Each one is unique and valuable for both science and society: 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; and Paradise Wood is a nationally significant living genetic reserve.

The close proximity and diversity of these tree collections, together with the climatic conditions they share, their origins, genetic variation and the associated metadata held about them, presents an exciting and important opportunity for scientific and social research.

This project will transform the identity of forestry resources: viewing them as living genetic libraries rather than simply sets of standing trees.

The first phase of the Woodland Collections project will scope out the assets and data held by Earth Trust and their value for science and society. Roberto De Vivo, our new Woodland Collections Data Processor, 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 strategy. He’s working in close partnership with leading members of the forestry community, including experts from NIAB EMR (East Malling Research), Sylva Foundation and University of Oxford Department of Plant Sciences.