Forest Management Adaptation (AdaFor) 2013 – 2015

The forestry sector today is under increasing pressure to adapt to expanding demand for timber and woodfuel, the impacts of climate change, the conservation requirements for woodland ecosystems and the need to reduce management costs.  To ensure that forests are sustainable into the future woodland managers need to consider tree species selection, adapting planting regimes and technical innovations.

About the project

This two year project was a partnership between organisations in northern France and southern England under the Interreg IVA France (Channel) England Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2015. Such cross-border collaborations integrate a broad knowledge base and expertise to facilitate enhanced forest management and adaptation.  Adafor builds on knowledge and experience developed by the MULTI FOR Interreg project.

Research objectives

The ultimate objective was to help deliver a vibrant, self-sustaining forestry sector that is able to respond well to changing market conditions and which uses sustainable and appropriate techniques to manage Kent’s considerable woodland resource:

  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of the forestry sector and to help inform how support should be provided in the future.
  • Increase awareness amongst foresters and woodland owners of new and expanding markets for timber, timber products and wood fuel.
  • Improve the quantity and quality of forest management to increase woodfuel production and renew/enhance ecosystem services.
  • Continue supporting decision making around biomass heating and the self-supply of woodfuel.

Activities undertaken by the Kent Downs AONB involvement
Activity VI: Mechanisation and harvesting

  • Audit – undertake audit of forestry machinery, skills and training and development needs to ensure environmentally sensitive forest management and to help prepare the sector for increased demand as market conditions improve.
  • Demonstration – deliver a series of field-based workshops and demonstration of machinery and techniques that contribute to sustainable production.
  • Training – link prospective apprentices to existing contractors to increase new entrants and enhance skills within the workforce.  Work with local training providers to enhance uptake of forestry-based training.

Activity VII: Woodland management and renewal

  • Data – trial data integration techniques to identify areas of unmanaged woodland on farm estates.  Select trial areas to test approach and achieve 80% of woodlands in management (via referrals to the Forestry Commission).
  • Estates – pilot support for large estates with significant areas of woodland with the objective of progressing these estates further along the ‘sustainability’ journey via application of best practice and enhanced accreditation.
  • Feasibility – continue to support private and public sector in their assessment of biomass heating and woodfuel self-supply.  Deliver technical and economic feasibility support.

Funders and partners

The ADAFOR project is part funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund ERDF) within the framework of the European INTERREG IVA France (Channel) England Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2015, under the priority to: ‘Ensure a sustainable environmental development of the common space’; with the objective to ‘Ensure a balanced management of the environment and raise awareness about environmental issues’.

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