The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has pledged to strengthen the voice of its members in crucial debates on UK forestry and woodland management as it celebrates its move to the Hay Barns on the Upton Estate near Banbury, Oxfordshire.
The RFS, founded in 1882, had been based in Tring, Hertfordshire, for more than 40 years. The move to the Upton Estate near Banbury is a more central location for its nearly 4,000 members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is part of a re-invigoration of the society.
The move was celebrated with an Open Day on April 16, the planting of a lime tree on the Upton Estate and a briefing on tree diversity and resilience by John Weir, Forestry Commission advisor on woodland expansion and resilience.
RFS president Nick Halsey said: "This is a critical time for everyone who manages or loves woodlands. UK forestry faces challenges from pests and diseases, climate change and from global economic pressures. At the same time there is a boom in demand for wood fuel and huge potential for timber as a sustainable material than can lock away carbon.
"The RFS champions excellence in management of trees, and will be working with partner organisations to encourage more woodlands back into management; we will be helping our members protect and improve their woodlands, and using our own woodlands and working alongside Upton Estate to provide examples of best practice."