Information and Advisory Note Number 140 Back to menu
1.1 The natural regeneration of woodland, from seeds dispersed by nearby trees
or by other natural means (such as vegetative propagation, regrowth and seed
dispersal by birds), is of benefit to wildlife and landscape character. It
creates a natural and irregular structure, of mixed age and species composition,
with associated ground flora and shrub layer. Local genotypes are usually
maintained, together with the natural distribution of species in relation to
soil types. Overall, it results in a woodland that has a largely natural
composition and appearance.
1.2 The efficiency of natural regeneration depends on woodland type and the proximity of a seed source.
2.1 Trends from 1995 to 2000 (Figure 1):
2.1.1 Most natural regeneration is funded through the Woodland Grant Scheme.
2.1.2 Some 120 ha of broadleaved woodland was established by natural regeneration in 1995, increasing to 900 ha in 2000.
2.1.3 The area of pine woodland established by natural regeneration increased from only 3.5 ha in 1995 to 281 ha in 1999. Although only 84 ha was established in 2000, there were signs of an increase in 2000/01 (77 ha had been paid for by August 2000).
2.1.4 Between 1995 and 2000, a total of 3,132 ha of native woodland (455ha of pine
and 2,676 ha of broadleaves) was established by natural regeneration. This represented 27% of all native woodland (16% of pinewoods, and 30% of broadleaved woodland) established over the period.
Figure 1. Area of woodland established annually by natural regeneration. Source: WGS database. Based on payment of second instalment.
2.1.5 In 1996 and 1997, the area of woodland established by natural regeneration exceeded the area planted (Figure 2). Thereafter, the area planted has been higher. This may be linked to changes in the Woodland Grant Scheme under WGS 3, introduced in 1994. This altered the way grant was paid for natural regeneration.
Figure 2. Cumulative area of woodland established by natural regeneration and by planting. Source: WGS database. Based on payment of second instalment.
3.1 Trends from 1995 to 2000 were derived from the Forestry Commission's
Woodland Grant Scheme database and Forest Enterprise's planting records.
3.2 Data derived from the Woodland Grant Scheme database is based on payment of the second instalment, when the tree layer has become established, usually five or more years after the initial work to encourage natural regeneration.
Further detailed information on Natural Heritage Trends: Forest and Woodland can be found in Information & Advisory Note No. 137.
To obtain further information about any of the issues raised in this l&A Note,
Ms Jeanette Hall (Author) or Mr Ed Mackey
Environmental Audit Group
Chief Scientist's Unit
Scottish Natural Heritage
2 Anderson Place
EDINBURGH EH6 5NP
Tel: 0131-446 2457
Fax: 0131-446 2405
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