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Sustainable forestry in a coniferous forest

Kielder Forest in Northumberland, is the largest forest in the UK.
It started as a multipurpose coniferous forest planted round Kielder Reservoir. The reservoir was built to supply water to the industrial northeast, give employment to locals, and act as a recreational park. Commercial management of this forest by the Forestry Commission initially resulted in many problems.

  • Exotic non-native species of fast growing conifers were planted – predominantly Sitka and Norway spruce
  • Large acreage of close planting was done all at the same time, giving a poor age structure, leading to exposed
    hill-sides at the time of harvesting
  • The planting was visually intrusive and did not blend with the natural landscape features
  • Reduced habitat for animals due to limited species present and wet drainage.