THE organisation that manages most of the New Forest has warned that action is needed now to tackle the problems posed by climate change.

A new report by the Forestry Commission says several types of tree will find it hard to survive in the hotter, drier summers forecast for the south.

The report includes guidance on the measures needed to ensure that woodlands can cope with severe droughts and other climate-related issues.

It adds: “We need to adapt forests and their management to this changing future.

“Action is needed now to ensure that forestry can make an important contribution to a future low-carbon society, helping to mitigate climate change through providing woodfuel and sustainable timber products.

“Adaptation is also essential to protect woodlands and forests for wildlife and bio-diversity and for people to use and enjoy.”

Mark Broadmeadow, one of the report’s authors, said: “The action we take now in southern England, particularly when planting new woodlands, is critical. It represents a real challenge because what we plant must be right for both the current climate and the climate of the future.”

The report says species such as alder and Norway spruce will find it difficult to grow if conditions change in the way that scientists predict.

However, the good news for the New Forest is that oak – one of the commonest trees in the area – is likely to thrive.

Research is currently taking place across Europe to identify all the species that can tolerate drier summers. The results will help the Forestry Commission take appropriate action in the UK.


HERE are just some of the images of spectacular autumnal scenery that Daily Echo readers have captured around the south.

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