Wild plants for a changing climate

In April 2007, Flora locale issued a discussion document on the use and sourcing of wild plants for large-scale habitat creation. Contributions to the debate were invited. To see the detailed discussion document click here.
Climate is changing – hot dry summers and wetter, warmer winters are just a few of the trends Britain is likely to experience. These changes are already influencing our wild plants and other wildlife.  Predictions suggest that species will migrate northwards, and upwards in altitude. However, in the UK’s fragmented countryside, semi-natural habitats are not sufficiently continuous to provide species with poor methods of dispersal sufficient suitable areas to colonise. It will be fundamentally important to expand and link semi-natural habitats, not only to enable species to migrate but also to increase the size of already small populations of individual species that remain in our highly fragmented landscape.
  1. Should planting policy continue to recommend the use of wild plant species within their current natural range?
  2. What methods of habitat creation should be used? E.g. natural regeneration, sowing seed (including trees & shrubs for new woodland) or other planting methods?
  3. What should be the policy over the origin of planting stock? e.g. in terms of “localness” or sourcing from identical habitats to those to be planted.
  4. Should any native species be deliberately introduced to areas beyond their natural range?
  5. Should any species native to bordering countries be introduced? e.g. species from north and central France which are not currently present in Britain.
  6. Is it too early to think about answering any or all of these questions?
The Woodland Trust has also issued a policy statement on tree provenance and origin, which is available on their website, with consideration of planting for climate change.


Page last modified on Friday 22 of June, 2012 18:54:57 BST