To apply collective research insights from various Future of UK Treescapes projects to the Forth Climate Forest (FCF) as a case study.
This project bridges the gap between researchers, practitioners, policymakers and local communities. It aims to share knowledge on maximizing the benefits and minimizing the challenges of forest and woodland expansion.
By pooling insights from four previously funded UK Treescapes Projects – TreE_PlaNat, Branching out, Connected Treescapes and Treescapes Fellow, Dr James Levine – this initiative will develop inclusive communication methods that put stakeholders centre stage. The synthesized research will be brought together to create actionable recommendations to enhance community engagement within the Forth Climate Forest (FCF).
FCF, spanning the Forth Valley area of Scotland, aims to bolster canopy cover, foster biodiversity, provide ecosystem services, and mitigate climate change effects. This initiative, undertaken collaboratively with The Woodland Trust, Scottish Forestry, and Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils, focuses on facilitating effective communication, gathering diverse perspectives, and involving local communities in forest and woodland creation efforts. The project comprises workshops, engagement activities, and the production of practice notes and accessible resources tailored for local communities.
The project will start by aligning research from various Treescapes projects with the needs of afforestation initiatives, using the FCF as a model. Through workshops, researchers, practitioners and stakeholders will explore tailored applications for forest expansion and urban canopy development.
Then, a series of field-based workshops within local communities will gather diverse perspectives on themes like biodiversity and urban services. These sessions aim to empower communities and enhance engagement in woodland creation.
Next, insights gathered will be synthesized to develop practical recommendations for effective woodland creation and community engagement, emphasizing diverse services and improved public involvement.
Finally, user-friendly resources like leaflets and a website, co-created with local communities, will share the project’s outcomes, fostering informed and engaged approaches to sustainable woodland management.
Sarah Greenwood, University of Stirling
University of Stirling, Sterling Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Scottish Forestry and The Woodland Trust