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Environmental Issues
Going Green

By Alan J Hartley

New Types Of
Forestry Plantations




Last year, Cannock Chase, which is perhaps not as well known outside the Midlands as the famous Nottingham forest, decided that certain species of trees are becoming less suitable to grow in our changing climate. The great English Oak tree, that was the traditional source of construction timber for centuries, is now struggling to grow in certain soils that may be less than ideal, whereas in the past stray acorns would germinate and grow well, anywhere. So, the forestry commission decided to start planting the Mediterranean Cork Oaks. If successful the project may lead to whole new industries, that have not been seen in the UK before, built around the harvesting of cork from the trunks of the trees.

Perhaps even more adventurous is their recent announcement, in local press, that they are to begin planting 4,700 Eucalyptus trees in an area near to Rugeley as an experimental, harvestable crop to sell as fuel timber for burning instead of traditional fuels. With a small Bio Mass power station not many miles away that is currently experimenting with Elephant Grass and many more old fashioned coal fired power stations in nearby towns, the project may gain much attention. It has been stated that the Eucalyptus will grow 4 times as fast as the traditional Conifers that the Chase has always been known for. The warmer Summers and milder Winters of recent years are proving less favourable for growing the conifers that prefer cooler, damper conditions. Another possible reason for the forestry comminsion looking for an alternative crop to conifers, is that the Chase was always known for growing the timber for the tens of thousands of pit props needed every year to satiate the needs of the old Midlands coal industry. Now that local coal mining has all but gone, there is little need for the straight, pit prop type of timber that the conifers provided.



Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.


Books By
Alan J Hartley