OpenFields

958: Environmental impacts - tree felling and woodland clearance

This paper is summarised from Chapter 13 of the Natural England Research Report NERR030, ‘Environmental impacts of land management’.

Year of Publication2010

No system of felling produces the composition of woodland which would exist under natural regeneration and woodland habitats reflect their management. The greenhouse gas budget of mature woodlands is complex and much can depend on the soils. Removal of conifers for example can raise water tables and reinvigorate carbon sequestration via peat. Many woodland habitats and species benefit from the variety of structure that is created through the felling and restocking process. Felling trees is not an important contributor to carbon emissions. Mature trees hold large quantities of carbon but sequester comparatively little.

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