Sustainable Forestry SCIO is supporting scientific research connected to the establishment of new native woodland. Funding is available for biodiversity and carbon related research and other collaborative studies which enhance the charities objects. The research can take a long term view employing a range of scientific techniques and expertise.
There are two grants programmes:
This is an annual programme where grants up to £10k are given towards projects or research in Scotland which:
- Measure woodland biodiversity changes in new native woods.
- Explore and measure the contribution of native woodland to carbon sequestration.
- Explore and measure the benefits of the expansion of native woodland to society.
- Raise awareness of the contribution of native woodland to sustainable development.
- Increase understanding of the contribution of native woodland to carbon mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
- Raise awareness of the contribution which sustainable management of native woods can make to environmental improvement, conservation of the natural heritage or the economic vitality of communities.
- Encourage communication and collaboration among parties interested in achieving the any of the above.
At the 14 Scottish Forest Alliance (SFA) forest sites, a methodology for measuring biodiversity and carbon changes has been developed. Long-term monitoring and recording is taking place over a 200 year period, creating a unique dataset. Surveys are conducted every 10 years and the baseline survey and phase 1 survey have been completed. The phase 2 survey is due to take place in 2025. This involves:
- monitoring and recording the emerging forest ecosystems as the new native woodlands develop, contributing to wider scientific understanding of biodiversity; and
- monitoring and calculating the ability of these new forests to absorb carbon from the atmosphere - the process known as 'carbon sequestration'.
To maintain the integrity of the data the methodologies used should be compatible for every survey in order that results can be compared. Both areas of study are vital in informing current debates about how best to respond to climate change, specifically in relation to climate change mitigation and adaptation.