The aim of the handbook is to provide advice that will help managers understand their woodland and improve their management.
A variety of subjects are included, from use of grazing animals, identification of woodland communities and management for nature conservation, to uneven aged silviculture, vegetation management and management planning. The background and principles of each topic are explained and case studies are used throughout. Interactions between inherent characteristics of the site and historic management are also considered in relation to future management options. The handbook also includes answers to questions that managers should be asking about their woodlands when different management styles are adopted depending on woodland ownership, location, objectives and characteristics.
Ralph Harmer has worked for Forest Research at Alice Holt for almost 25 years. He initially studied the vegetative propagation and improvement on oak, but since 1992 has been investigating the management of lowland native woodlands. His recent work has concentrated on the relationships between the ground flora, tree seedling regeneration and browsing, and the restoration of PAWS.
Gary Kerr is a silviculturist working for Forest Research at Alice Holt. His research career started with work on broadleaved silviculture and his PhD focussed on the silviculture of ash. Since then his work has focussed on continuous cover silviculture. He is Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: an International journal of Forest Research, a scientific journal published by Oxford University Press.
Richard Thompson is a native woodland ecologist working for Forest Enterprise Scotland. Starting with the Forestry Commission as a conservation and planning forester, he then worked for Forest Research investigating the ecology of upland native woodlands. He currently provides site based advice and national guidance on the management of native woods and ancient woodland sites.
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