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Trouble in the Woods Seminar

Trouble in the Woods

The new ‘Locust Years’ & the destruction of ancient woodland heritage

 

Chaired by Ian D. Rotherham and Ken Smith

A 2-day seminar with the Landscape Conservation Forum & the Biodiversity Research Group

​Thursday 25 – Friday 26 April 2024

 

This two-day event begins in Day 1 by celebrating the remarkable and unique heritage of ancient woodlands. To do this we introduce recent and current research in woodland archaeology and management, and update on progress since the landmark publication of the ‘Woodland Heritage Manual’ in 2008. Day 2 will focus more on the threats to this irreplaceable heritage and ecology posed by current forestry policies, woodland management prescriptions, and limited awareness of heritage. 

 

Key issues and themes include the following:

·        The unique nature, heritage, & archaeology of ancient woodlands.

·        New and emerging research on woodland heritage & archaeology

·        The differences between archaeology ‘of’ the woods, and archaeology ‘in’ the woods.

·        The limited recognition of archaeology & heritage in woods.

·        Links between ancient woodland ecology & heritage.

·        The vulnerability of woodland heritage features.

·        The absence of any due process of guidance for physical management operations in woodland environments, and the need for easy-to-access field guidance for practitioners & managers.

·        The damage done to heritage by modern machine-driven site management of woodlands.

·        Shortcomings in the Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI).

·        The need for an industry-recognition marque of traditionally worked woods and the separation of industrial woods – and their necessary removal from the Inventory, perhaps replaced by a category of ‘Industrial Woodlands’.

·        The need for an agreed ‘valuation’ system for woodland heritage equivalent to ‘Ecosystem Services’ in order to provide a more balanced cost-benefit approach to management.  

 

Two major new books on woodlands and on countryside history will also be launched at the event.

 

The event follows from earlier programmes of seminars and conferences back to the 1980s.

 

Emerging themes centre on widespread, often irreparable damage to woodland ecology and especially heritage including archaeological features and ancient ‘worked’ trees associated with contemporary management. There is clearly a lack of sustainability (or accountability) in present management regimes. Widespread tree felling, and mechanical extraction generate:

·        major soil erosion,

·        damage to biodiversity,

·        erosion of archaeology,

·        release of stored carbon,

·        downstream pollution of watercourses,

·        degradation of landscape and amenity value,

·        and exacerbation of downstream flooding – the opposite of ‘slowing the flow’.

 

Call & further information:

 

We are calling for partners, collaborators, and sponsors for the event. There will also be a small area for poster presentations – please contact us if you are interested in presenting a paper or poster at this event.

 

There will be a publication based on the papers presented and / or invited. If interested, please contact Professor Ian Rotherham in the first instance: syeconet@gmail.com

More details and background information are on the Econet website below.

 

Thursday, 25 April, Lees Hall Golf Club – New Insights into Woodland History & Heritage

9.30am to 5pm

£75.00 per person (60 places)

£30.00 Discounted places (20 places), available to full-time students, retirees, and others not in fulltime employment relevant (i.e., consultancy, nature conservation, woodland management, tree management, forestry, or academia). Proof of status may be required.

 

​Friday, 26th April, Lees Hall Golf Club, Unique Heritage under threat – the ‘New Locust Years’

9.30am to 5pm

£75.00 per person (60 places)

£30.00 Discounted places (20 places), available to full-time students, retirees, and others not in fulltime employment relevant (i.e., consultancy, nature conservation, woodland management, tree management, forestry, or academia). Proof of status may be required.

 

The above include refreshments & buffet lunch.

 

 

With new materials posted each week.

 

Econet research website & booking details:

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