Ancient tree Smithills
Jul 01 2020

Bunce resurvey gets underway

The Bunce resurvey of ancient woods across the UK has started this week at Riding Mill Wood near Newcastle. This 3 year project (2020-22) has long been in the making, and despite delays due to the pandemic, the ecologists have begun surveys at English sites working within government guidelines.
What is the Bunce resurvey?
The woodland survey of Great Britain was originally carried out in 1971, designed by Professor Robert Bunce. Ecological surveys of 103 broadleaf woods across Britain and 26 pinewoods in Scotland were undertaken. In 2001 the broadleaved sites were resurveyed, highlighting some important changes in our woods. There had been a decline in ground flora and shrub species related to maturing woodland, and increased canopy cover creating more shade.
Now nearly 50 years on from the original survey, the Woodland Trust in partnership with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, is revisiting the same sites to repeat these surveys. This will provide a unique 50-year dataset, providing important insight into the changes taking place in our woods and the causes of those changes.
Thanks for the support
The project would not be possible without the generous support of our members who responded to our Broadleaf appeal, as well as large contributions from People’s Postcode Lottery and a charitable trust.
We also have contributions from Defra, Welsh Government and the National Trust, who appreciate the value in gathering this data and the many ways in which it will help guide future woodland management.
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