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(Arboricultural-styled) 'Fact of the Day'


Kveldssanger
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12/08/15. Fact #4.

 

 

(1) The project managed to plant 837 acres of woodland over six years with a £8.5m budget, before calling it a day.

 

(2) Not all is lost in failure however, as the lessons drawn from the demise of such an ambitious project paved the way for research into species selection for plantations, management of plantations, and planting techniques.

 

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(1) Bloody hell! 837a, six years, £8.5m. I reckon I'd have a good punt at those odds single handed! I wonder what the cost/tree was?

 

(2) Shame the lessons didn't extent to criminal squandering of public money and lack of accountability for attaining VfM for the taxpayer which continues at pace.

 

:angry:

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The book didn't say, though I'm going to guess something like Fagus sylvatica. Certainly species that exist in more moderate, less erratic climates wouldn't need such a thick outer bark.

 

I'm not sure why the book uses rhytidome as it's not a term that is used much any more, as far as I am aware.

 

Beech bark is smooth but it aint thin. I'd say Birch would be a good deal thinner. Or even Cherry. Anything with lenticels. Sorbus? blah blah...

 

Rhytidome is a new word for me. Hurrah. I'll try and drop it into some conversations. Hmm, as in " A house in the woods? You'll feel rhytidome there!"

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12/08/15. Fact #4.

 

The Midland Reafforesting Association was created in 1903 with the intention of undertaking afforestation projects (amounting to 14,000 acres) across the Black Country, England. Whilst in principle such projects were met with support by the government and other organisations, less than 1% of the target was planted so by 1925 the project was terminated and the Midland Reafforesting Association dissolved.

 

Predominant drivers behind the failure of the project included the residents' acceptance of the industrialised and bleak landscapes as if they were the norm and status quo, the lack of necessary funding from bodies that verbally supported the efforts of the Midland Reafforesting Association (particularly as the subsoiling / ripping of poorer-quality sites being very expensive), 'technical difficulties' (species selection, poor site quality, etc), and the fact that one of the core motives for the afforestation project, that of such forest creation improving land value, was at the time not supported by crucial evidence in favour of such a claim.

 

Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, only one-sixth of the derelict 14,000 acres remained by 1953. Most had been built on due to demand for infrastructural services and homes for the rising population of the UK. The remaining derelict land, which would amount to around 2,400 acres, did funnily enough regenerate naturally, gradually 'greening' the residual areas left behind after continued construction.

 

To top the whole thing off, The Black Country Urban Forestry Unit (BCUFU) that was formed in 1985 to continue the efforts of the project from 1903, which evolved into the National Urban Forestry Unit (NUFU) in 1995, also disbanded (prematurely) due to a lack of funding from central government. The project managed to plant 837 acres of woodland over six years with a £8.5m budget, before calling it a day.

 

Not all is lost in failure however, as the lessons drawn from the demise of such an ambitious project paved the way for research into species selection for plantations, management of plantations, and planting techniques.

 

Source: Webber, J. (2008) Greening the Black Country: The Work of the Midland Reafforesting Association in the Early Twentieth Century. Arboricultural Journal. 31 (1). p45-62.

 

I drive through the Black Country on a weekly basis on the way to the M6 for work. There is a huge piece of land near Bilston which was part of this Black Country Urban Forest which has just be cleared and is now being regarded fir housing. Bit of a waste on one hand but to be fair, even though it was planted with small trees (mostly willow) it still didn't look nice.

 

Interesting post, I didn't realise the greening project went back that far.

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