Updated: Sep 13, 2021
My career has included involvement in Woodland Management schemes, Woodland Protection Plans, Woodland Evaluation, and supervision of various management practices. What has always struck me most forcibly is the capacity of a native wood to manage itself to its most biologically diverse manifestation without any help at all from us. In fact, it has always seemed very clear to me that interference from man, even when well intentioned, often fails to achieve the desired results. Slowly, very slowly, this realisation is gaining ground amongst tree and landscape professionals, and even amongst our policy makers (at least to a degree). The Monks Wood Wilderness Experiment (now 60 years old) tells us all we need to know about leaving our woodlands well alone, to 'manage' themselves. Let's hope that many, many other ancient and sacred wooded spaces benefit from this growing enlightenment. Let's hope that, when we come to plant (because we must) we find a way to let the trees be our teachers, and the woods our inspiration.