The Landscape Ecology of Forests, Woodlands and Trees

Crown Copyright Forestry Commission

2021 ialeUK conference online

7th-8th September 2021

It is increasingly recognised that forests, woodlands and trees provide societal benefits and nature-based solutions to wicked problems, including the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis. This international conference explored how landscape ecology can inform the expansion and restoration of forests, woodlands and trees to secure these public benefits into the future.  

We brought together people with relevant expertise from across science, policy, conservation and industry, to learn from each other, and identify ways in which landscape ecology can support ambitious policy targets, including those for woodland expansion, greenhouse gas reduction, biodiversity conservation, commercial viability, and sustainable development goals.

The programme for this year’s conference included 34 talks, with keynotes by Jo Pike (CEO of the Scottish Wildlife Trust); Jenny Hodgeson (conservation biologist at the Liverpool University); Sallie Bailey (deputy chief scientific advisor at Scottish Government) and Jon Stokes (director of Trees, Science & Research at The Tree Council).

We are pleased that a third of the talks are by non-academic experts from conservations NGOs (Woodland Trust, RSPB), Government agencies (NatureScot, Natural England), and other organisations with an interest treescapes including Galbraith and the National Forest Company.

This multidisciplinary conference attracted over 70 delgates with an interest in the protection, planning and management of trees and forested landscapes, including researchers, policymakers, and foresters and conservation practitioners. 

During the conference we reflected on two central questions

  • What learning has significantly informed landscape scale policy and management of forests, woodlands and trees in the last 20 years? 
  • What evidence or solutions do we need to support landscape scale policy and management of forests, woodlands and trees in the next 20 years?

An online conference - recordings now online

Unfortunately the conference had to be fully online, but the advantage is that all sessions were recorded and are now available as a resource for anyone. Links to the recordings are now included in the programme.

The conference was hosted by The Edinburgh University Centre for Sustainable Landscapes and Forests with support from Forest Research, The Woodland Trust and the University of Reading. Organisers were Prof. Marc Metzger (The University of Edinburgh), Dr Vanessa Burton (Forest Research), Dr Chloe Bellamy (Forest Research), Dr Adrian Southern (Woodland Trust) and Dr Jess Neumann (University of Reading) with support from Jonathan Porter (Countryscape) and guidance from the ialeUK committee.