A root and branch approach to growth header image

A root and branch approach to growth

2019709bigI love the idea of Grown in Britain, starting with the name itself. Forests grow. This growth has been important to us as humans, for as long as we have lived on the planet. One of our first great discoveries was that you could rub two bits of wood together to make fire to keep ourselves warm. Trees as man’s best friend long pre-dates the dog. This relationship with our trees and woods is old and deep and visceral. We used wood to build not just our homes and our furniture but also to cook our food and later to fuel our furnaces to make our bronze and iron. We built boats to explore our lakes and then our seas.
 
But this is not just a functional relationship; it’s spiritual and social as well.  In Norse mythology Yggdrasill, the world tree, an ash, connected the nine worlds. Our fairy tales and our legends are full of trees. The Buddha received enlightenment meditating under a tree. Closer to our own time it was the symbolism of Deng planting a tree that sparked the rebirth of China. Our trees and forests have inspired poetry and music.
 
Trees frame our landscapes and brighten our cities. Just as much as excellent tree officers care for our urban trees so the trees in our countryside need management. The ecologies our woods contain have grown up in symbiosis with man and are nurtured by the good management of those woods. Cutting down trees creates space, giving light to other trees to grow faster or saplings to come through and form the next generation of our forests. Our forests and their edges harbour so much of our country’s flora and fauna. Managing woodlands helps foster this richness further.

We need to protect the rich woodland habitats that take hundreds of years to develop. At the same time we need to encourage the faster-growing species from which we make our houses, our furniture, our paper and other myriad uses including keeping people warm. These uses are sustainable. You cut the trees and replant or coppice and the trees grow again. The closer the wood is grown to its eventual use the better as  the less energy is used in transport.
 

 

 

 

 Wood grown in Britain is grown in a country where the forest area has been expanding for more than ninety years. Using wood provides an income from which to manage the woods and provides a livelihood to those that work in the forests. Using wood and buying wooden product connects people to the land and the land to the people.

Grown in Britain reminds us that buying British wood makes you part of a chain that supports local jobs, invests in the future of our woodlands and helps nature and the environment. Indeed, it means buying into a dynamic sustainable resource that has supported man since the dawn of man’s time.

But this is not just a functional relationship; it’s spiritual and social as well.  In Norse mythology Yggdrasill, the world tree, an ash, connected the nine worlds. Our fairy tales and our legends are full of trees. The Buddha received enlightenment meditating under a tree. Closer to our own time it was the symbolism of Deng planting a tree that sparked the rebirth of China. Our trees and forests have inspired poetry and music.
 
Trees frame our landscapes and brighten our cities. Just as much as excellent tree officers care for our urban trees so the trees in our countryside need management. The ecologies our woods contain have grown up in symbiosis with man and are nurtured by the good management of those woods. Cutting down trees creates space, giving light to other trees to grow faster or saplings to come through and form the next generation of our forests. Our forests and their edges harbour so much of our country’s flora and fauna. Managing woodlands helps foster this richness further.
 
We need to protect the rich woodland habitats that take hundreds of years to develop. At the same time we need to encourage the faster growing species from which we make our houses, our furniture, our paper and other myriad uses including keeping people warm. These uses are sustainable. You cut the trees and replant or coppice and the trees grow again. The closer the wood is grown to its eventual use the better as  the less energy is used in transport. Wood grown in Britain is grown in a country where the forest area has been expanding for more than ninety years. Using wood provides an income from which to manage the woods and provides a livelihood to those that work in the forests. Using wood and buying wooden product connects people to the land and the land to the people.

Grown in Britain reminds us that buying British wood makes you part of a chain that supports local jobs, invests in the future of our woodlands and helps nature and the environment. Indeed, it means buying into a dynamic sustainable resource that has supported man since the dawn of man’s time.

 Sir Harry Studholme, Chairman, Forestry Commission