Why Wood? Part 5: Regenerative Forestry

10 . 10 . 23

Welcome to the latest part of our ‘Why Wood?’ series. In part 4 we had just met Nick from the Stourhead Estate, read here for what happened next!

Regenerative Forestry

Nick told me about the cedar he produced and some more about his woodland and it soon became apparent that he was doing all he could to manage his woodland in the most sustainable, if not regenerative, way.

He is a steward of the land.

I drove up to see him in 2010 and that’s where we’ve been getting our timber from ever since.

Nick uses a forestry management approach known as continuous cover, which aims to make woodlands dynamic ecosystems with a diverse structure including big trees, small trees, areas of dense regeneration, gaps and glades. They provide a range of habitats within a retained canopy, managed through regular thinning, which ultimately initiates natural regeneration. So no mono-crops and no clear felling, just bio diverse, healthy woodlands, always.

When we first started working with Nick, he said that a standard woodland of the same size would be planting 12-15 thousand trees per year, whereas he was only having to plant 3000 because of the natural regeneration. His aim was to have the woodland regenerating so he wouldn’t need to plant any new trees within ten years, and he’s getting close!

It’s really special to be able to work with people like Nick and to know that what we do, by using his timber, is promoting a move back to more healthy and natural woodlands.

It’s important to remember that just because a product is made from ‘natural’ resources, like wood, or clay, or cotton it still doesn’t mean it is any more sustainable. You have to bore down into how the land is actually being nurtured to know if your impact is a positive one for our environment. I’d like to think that Nick is going a step beyond creating a sustainable woodland, to nurturing a regenerative one.

Check out parts of the ‘Why Wood?’ series you may have missed:

Part 1: Performance

Part 2: A Personal Connection

Part 3: Stewardship of The Land

Part 4: Locally Grown

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