Archive for June, 2016

Permaculture wood fuel and home heating workshop | 21st Jun, 2016


The Brighton Permaculture Trust is putting on a one day wood fuel and home heatingworkshop. Suitable for beginners, it will cover the basics of wood fuel home heating. The course will include the possible benefits of fuel autonomy, carbon, local economies, and sustainability. These topics are woven into the fabric of the course in such a way as to connect the theory with the practicality.

The term wood fuel now encompasses several technologies; traditional split logs, woodchip and wood pellet. Each of these systems will be discussed during the course with focus put on those of most interest to the group. There will be plenty of time to ask questions during the sessions and at the end where an Ask Andy session is programmed.

By the end of the course participants will have gained an understanding of:

  • Woodlands and firewood production, buying firewood and conversion
  • Woodsheds and storage, moisture content and drying, and continuous supply management
  • Types of stove and technologies
  • Pellet and chip systems and hot water systems
  • Integration with other renewables
  • ….and more

For more information and to book a place visit their website.

Tree Disease Research Project – Survey | 17th Jun, 2016

We have had a request from Oleg Sheremet who is a research fellow at the University of St. Andrews.  He is working on a project to find out how woodland owners and managers arrive at decisions, based on their knowledge of tree disease risks.  They have a short online survey which I have taken, it took about 15 – 20mins, it did take some thinking about, but it obviously a very worthwhile project to get involved in.  Please follow the links below to take the survey.

How will the risk of future tree diseases affect the decision making of woodland owners and managers? A request for your views.

In recent years, pests and diseases from around the world have severely affected several tree species in Britain, and others are likely to arrive in coming years. Many woodland owners and managers have started to think about how to move beyond just responding to each disease after arrival and instead plan for longer-term resilience of woodlands to a range of possible threats. Such choices are the focus of the research project FOREMOD ( being carried out by a consortium of universities and Forest Research, funded by the UK government.

Here we introduce the project and request your views.

The focus of the project is to improve understanding of the decisions which woodland owners and managers make in the light of their knowledge of tree disease risks, and their particular objectives in management. The information generated by this research will help woodland owners understand the economic consequences of different management options. It will also inform policy makers about how different incentives would best encourage woodland owners to make the decisions that most reduce future tree disease risks.

We hope many woodland owners and managers will be willing to participate in this research as this will help us get the strongest possible evidence on which to base this advice. Participating will not take long, will entail no long-term commitment and will be strictly confidential. We are asking you to take part in a “choice experiment” to find out your preference between pairs of management options that differ in their conditions. The more people who take part, the stronger will be the evidence.

To take part in this survey you simply need to click on

Please also get in touch if you would like to participate in the project in other ways, for instance by advising on what woodland management alternatives we should compare in our economic modelling.

Contact Oleg Sheremet ([email protected]) for more information about the choice experiment or Morag Macpherson ([email protected]) about any other aspect of the project.

Chris Quine, Head of Centre for Ecosystems, Society and Biosecurity, Forest Research

John Healey, Professor of Forest Sciences, Bangor University

Forest Charter – unique opportunity for small woodland owners | 16th Jun, 2016


More than 50 organisations, co-ordinated by the Woodland Trust, are leading UK society in a call for a charter that will ensure that people and trees can stand stronger together in the future. This charter, strengthened by support from all corners of society, will provide guidelines and principles for policy, decision-makers, businesses, communities and individuals. SWOG is pleased to be supporting a consultation, hosted by the Sylva Foundation, that will enable woodland owners and custodians across the UK to help define the 2017 Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

This consultation is the only activity specifically aimed at ensuring the views of woodland owners or custodians are reflected in the charter. More than two-thirds of woodlands are held in private hands, so it is vital that the voices of woodland owners/custodians, like yours, are captured. We would like to record your hopes and fears for the future to ensure that the charter speaks for you, and supports you in your vital role as custodian of the nation’s woodland heritage.

Gabriel Hemery, the Chief Executive of Sylva explains more about it in this blog, Woodland ownership in the 21st century

To take part visit:

June 2016 Newsletter | 01st Jun, 2016

june2016 It’s hard to believe summer is officially here, but the latest newsletter is full of news guaranteed to warm the hearts of SWOG members.

  • What do owners do with their woods?
  • How SWOG supports owners
  • Free track maintenance pilot scheme for south-east owners
  • Ash dieback – how you can help
  • Inside an ancient oak with Loris


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